Essay on Loss: Our Emotional Connection to Hamlet

Essay on Loss: Our Emotional Connection to Hamlet

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The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare is about a young man who is returning from his studies to mourn the death of his father. During this time he is visited by the ghost of his father and asked to avenge a “Murder most foul” (Shakespeare 1.5.33). In the play of Hamlet, we can recognize at least one element that has embroidered itself into the very fabric of modern literature: this element of particular importance is the protagonist’s ability to appeal to every viewer emotionally through loss. In the play, the viewer develops emotional links with Hamlet following the many losses he or she witnesses, such as the loss of family, the loss of his childhood friends, the loss of trust in the world and ultimately the loss of innocence.
The first loss we encounter is the loss of family; Hamlet arrives in Denmark to mourn the loss of his father. The loss of a parent affects many people very deeply, giving them a sense of insecurity and complete sorrow. In the first scene with Hamlet, he is dressed all in black and speaks of the turmoil he feels: “O, That this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew” (1.2.133-134) This very vivid description adequately expresses the feelings experienced in times of loss. Hamlet is feeling alone now that his father is gone and his mother seems to have hastily moved on and he makes note of this in his first soliloquy: “O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason Would have mourn'd longer - married with my uncle”(1.2.154-155) Children often have difficulty with their parents remarrying following the death of the other parent. Christina Gregoire writes in her article concerning the impact of remarriage on adult children (older than eighteen), that a paren...


... middle of paper ...


...ughout the play. Following the end of the play, the viewer exits the theatre, feeling changed and “The rest is silence” (5.2.395)



Works Cited

“Losing a Best Friend,” A Boundless World. 15 Sept. 2009. Web. 17 Jan. 2011.
Gregoire, Christina. “Adult Children of Divorce and New Step Parents,” Suite101. 25
Dec. 2009. Web. 17 Jan. 2011.
“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our
friends”. http://www.quotedb.com/quotes/46. Web. 17 Jan. 2011.
Schneider, Arthur J. “Adult Children of Divorce and New Step Parents,” University of Missouri Extension. 2009. Web. 17 Jan. 2011.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square- Pocket 1992. Print.
Yager, Jan. “6 Types of Toxic Friends and How You Can Deal with Them,” iVillage Health. 25 Feb. 2003. Web. 17 Jan. 2011.

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