Shakespeare's Hamlet and the Devil Essay

Shakespeare's Hamlet and the Devil Essay

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Hamlet and the Devil         

 

Hamlet, for reasons of trepidation chooses not to kill Claudius, his nemesis, in the altar room. This fatal procrastination results in the unnecessary deaths of Laertes, Ophelia, Gertrude, and Hamlet himself. This casts a most inauspicious light upon Hamlet, but only if the original premise is true. The obverse side of the argument is that Hamlet, because he desires all those who are in league with Claudius to suffer the same ignominious fate that his father suffers. Thus he delays his revenge in order to intensify the misery of the other characters. This also casts a most inauspicious light upon Hamlet, but only if the general premise of the book is true, that Hamlet is the hero and is not enslaved to evil. That general premise is false. For even the Prince admits that he may be under the thrall of the Devil, who is able to “assume a pleasing shape” and is “very potent with such spirits [of melancholy]”.

         The first victim to fall under Hamlet’s preternatural wrath is Polonius. Hamlet, in rage that someone is spying on him, deliberately thrusts his sword for a mortal kill. When he discovers that it is Polonius, he shrugs and is not bothered in the least by it. Even though it appears that Hamlet is a ruthless murderer, Polonius is not totally blameless. Polonius, because he wishes to gain the favor of the new king by proving his own worth, is determined to find the reason for Hamlet’s madness. He thus spies on Hamlet and even forbids his daughter to see her. His connection to Claudius, and his spidery machinations are reasons for his downfall.   

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...nection with Claudius deserves to die and painfully if possible. Each character exhibits a tragic flaw that is fatal. Although it may seem unfair, Hamlet is the ultimate arbiter of life and death in the play.  Because Hamlet is possessed by the Devil, he chooses to let Fate decide what happens. Thus Fate/Devil tells him to duel with Laertes. This is the first step of the beginning of the end. Hamlet and Laertes both are fatally wounded, the Queen is poisoned, and finally the King is poisoned and stabbed. Instead of only killing the King, Hamlet directly and indirectly kills everyone. Only Horatio is not affected, for he remains true with Hamlet even to the very end when he tries to poison himself in order to accompany his prince to death. Horatio is the epitome of fidelity, even his stoic nature melts away when he witnesses the poignancy of the tragedy of Hamlet.

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