Shakespeare's Hamlet Struggles with Fate Essay examples

Shakespeare's Hamlet Struggles with Fate Essay examples

Length: 1217 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Hamlet Struggles with Fate
Man has, and always will, continually struggle with drawing the line between Fate and chance – the fork in the road down which one believes there is order and purpose that leads all beings to a final destination in the universe, and the other believes there is only chance and coincidence that result from each individual’s next action. As Charles K. Cannon indicates, “The play that continually looks inward to observe itself as a play – suggests a pattern of diminishing concentric circles moving from what seems to be real to what seems to be illusion” (Cannon, 208). The scholarly critic points to the cycle and predestined path that the characters of Hamlet follow, as the royal characters of Denmark’s kingdom each take their own path into a tailspin of death and doom. Shakespeare’s play follows Hamlet’s revenge with the preconceived fact that every character introduced is already en route to their personal deaths. But on the other side of this coin, A.C. Bradley supports the idea that Hamlet and the surrounding characters are merely subject to the random wheel of fortune’s next spin. For example, when Hamlet encounters the pirate ship when searching for a way of transportation back to Denmark, he considers the occurrence to be divine providence; however, A.C. Bradley continues to believe that it is simply luck and good fortune that allows Hamlet to find the favorable pirates willing to grant him passage. Thus, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the characters – especially Hamlet – wrestle between the two forces of Fate and chance, with Fate ultimately prevailing over the mere mortal playing pieces of the story.
At the start of Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet is introduced to both Fate and the spirit that is thought to ...


... middle of paper ...


... all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is ‘t to leave betimes? Let be” (v.ii.233-238). Hamlet realizes that Fate will have its way, eventually taking his life – regardless of how hard he fights to swim upstream. As Preston Thomas Roberts, Jr., published author of The Journal of Religion at the University of Chicago, recalls, “[Hamlet] is finite because he is more implicated in the course of events and meanings than a wise man should be” (Roberts, 368). This identifies Hamlet as a direct victim of fate. Hamlet has the ability and intelligence to know better, but he still follows Fate and eventually comes to terms with the predestination of all mankind. From these two scenes, Hamlet understands that there is more to life than living in safety, and decides to accept Fate as it leads him into the bloodbath that is looming within the walls of Denmark’s palace.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

William Shakespeare 's Hamlet And King Lear Essay

- “When you begin a journey of revenge, start by digging two graves: one for your enemy, and one for yourself,” said Jodi Picoult, author of Nineteen Minutes (Revenge). With acts of revenge, not only is the receiver of the revenge being destroyed, but the avenger as well is being damaged in the process of enacting his or her revenge. Audiences can typically relate and identify for the character seeking revenge against a villainous character, for each of the characters seeking revenge seem to be on a virtuous attempt (Prosser, Shakespeare and Revenge)....   [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, King Lear]

Strong Essays
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Hamlet By William Shakespeare And The Mad Hatter Essay example

- ... All of the madness in the play originates from Hamlet and the meeting with his father’s ghost. Here, Hamlet discovers the truth of his father’s death and the emotional affairs between Hamlet’s uncle, the now King, and his widowed mother. Despite the Ghost’s warning to leave his mom out of the problem, Hamlet confronts his mother about the events preceding his father’s death and the current state of the royal court. All the while, hiding behind a nearby curtain Polonius listens to the conversation....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Strong Essays
1204 words (3.4 pages)

William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay example

- William Shakespeare's Hamlet There are enough conceptions, and thus misconceptions, about the melancholy Dane to fill volumes. However, while none of them has proved entirely acceptable, some of them, such as the diagnoses that Hamlet simply “procrastinates” or “cannot make up his mind” prove utterly unsatisfactory under careful scrutiny of the play and, perhaps more importantly, Hamlet himself. Indeed, it appears as if there are certain points in the play in which Hamlet comes to reversals as he eventually counters each one of his own arguments and concludes each of his struggles, until, in his return from England, he is someone quite different from the self-loathing, melancholy, emotiona...   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Strong Essays
2390 words (6.8 pages)

The Modern Day Of William Shakespeare 's Hamlet Essay

- ... Shakespeare illustrates how Hamlet struggles along the path of achieving his goal. Shakespeare explains Hamlet’s internal conflict through this line: “the mind to suffer/The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,/Or to take arms against a sea of troubles”. His conflict is being compared to his “outrageous fortune” and “mind to suffer”. He weighs the troubles of living against the unknown nature of death and afterlife. He compares death to sleep, sleep full of dreams. Ophelia illustrates the women of the Elizabethan time who follows men orders....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude, Macbeth]

Strong Essays
1092 words (3.1 pages)

Hamlet Acts Morally, Harms Others by his Actions, and Realizes his Tragic Limits

- Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most famous work of tragedy. Throughout the play the title character, Hamlet, tends to seek revenge for his father’s death. Shakespeare achieved his work in Hamlet through his brilliant depiction of the hero’s struggle with two opposing forces that hunt Hamlet throughout the play: moral integrity and the need to avenge his father’s murder. When Hamlet sets his mind to revenge his fathers’ death, he is faced with many challenges that delay him from committing murder to his uncle Claudius, who killed Hamlets’ father, the former king....   [tags: Hamlet, Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
1017 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on The Universal Inner Struggle Revealed in Hamlet

- The Universal Inner Struggle Revealed in Hamlet       Life is defined by the struggles it presents us.  Without these constant tests of our fortitude, we would never grow as mature human beings.  This is the one common denominator linking all people, past, present, and future.  It is no mystery why our literature and art reflect this characteristic.   The creation of a character is a mirror-image of a human.  Shakespeare perfectly understood this truth.  He crafted Hamlet, Claudius, Polonius, and his many other characters so that they would reflect life and in this way, entertain and educate his audience.  Shakespeare's outright goal may have been to simply make money, but along the way,...   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]

Strong Essays
850 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about Examining the Tragic Protagonists of "Oedipus Rex" and "Hamlet"

- Tragedy can be defined as the downfall of a protagonist through some fatal error or misjudgment, producing suffering and insight on the part of the main character and arousing pity and fear on the part of the audience. Of all the characteristics of tragedy, one is most important: the tragic hero must be essentially admirable and good. In both the common tragedies, “Oedipus Rex” and “Hamlet”, both main characters are generally good. In either play, both Hamlet and Oedipus make a flaw that will cost them an extreme suffering, and in “Hamlet”, that concludes in many deaths....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Hamlet]

Strong Essays
644 words (1.8 pages)

Hamlet and the Greek Tragedy Essay

- Aristotle, a Classical Greek philosopher and writer, is the founder of the Aristotelian tradition of tragedy, which states that tragedy should be or seem to be historical. It should deal with affairs of state and the public lives of great men, whose downfall is caused by a fatal weakness in their character. Renaissance tradition held that tragedy should deal with men who were "better" than ordinary men, such as kings, heroes, aristocrats. The protagonist may be wholly or partially responsible for his own fate or may be the victim of external circumstances and the machinations of those around him....   [tags: Free Shakespeare Essays]

Strong Essays
1334 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Superego and Hamlet

- ... Had Hamlet accepted Ophelia’s love though, the rest of the plot would have been neutralized, and the many tragic events that unfold would have never happened. It’s important to note how crucial the role of Eros and its rejection played within Hamlet; because with the aid of Ophelia’s love, Hamlet could have gone through the healing processes of mourning his father, rather he gave into the superego. “The superegos function is to induce guilt and to repress…These internal processes are externalized and dramatized in the soliloquies, where the thought is frequently revengeful, sadistic and self-destructive....   [tags: psychological analysis, Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
1443 words (4.1 pages)

Hamlet's Inner Struggle Essay

- “What a piece of work is a man. How noble in reason. / How infinite in faculty. In form and moving how / express and admirable. In action how like an angel. / In apprehension how like a God. The beauty of the / world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?” (Act 2, scene 2) In Hamlet, Shakespeare utilizes the characters to examine the human condition and what it means to be human. The human condition is comprised of experiences that every human lives through, regardless of their social class, gender, or race....   [tags: Shakespeare play analysis]

Strong Essays
678 words (1.9 pages)