The Theme Of Death Is Abundant Throughout William Shakespeare 's Hamlet Essay

The Theme Of Death Is Abundant Throughout William Shakespeare 's Hamlet Essay

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The theme of death is abundant throughout William Shakespeare play “Hamlet”, and even more evident in Laurence Olivier’s movie Hamlet. At the start of both the play and the movie there two soldiers Bernardo and Marcellus along with Horatio (Hamlets friend) who see a ghostly figure. In the movie this scene is portrayed as very dark, and cold, and is a similar scene throughout the movie. The next person to die is Lord Chamberlin Polonius, who was killed by Hamlet. The deaths continue with Ophelia’s (Hamlets true love) suicide. Then in a remarkable sword fight that lead to Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude and Laertes all dying from poison. William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in a time when people were unsure about death, the afterlife and Shakespeare did a wonderful job of depicting these fears, by using Hamlet fascination and fears of death.
Hamlets Fascination with Death
As I stated earlier, Horatio along with Bernardo and Marcellus see a ghost, but I failed to mention how scared these men were by this ghost. Why were these brave Soldiers so scared? The issues of ghost, witches or anything demonic was also a problem that effected the English especially during Elizabeth’s time. Prior the Protestant movement in England the Roman Catholic Church whom had ecclesiastical power and provided rituals (exorcisms) for the people of England, which made the people feel safe and kept their minds at ease. After the disillusionment of the monasteries and the reformation people were no longer content with or assured about what happens when you die. We see this in the witch trials, and how with little to no evidence people were tried and executed for being a witch, mostly poor women.
When the ghostly figure does appear it is only late at night and never sp...


... middle of paper ...


...ey are not admitted into heaven. You see this in the play at Ophelia’s burial, the priest does not given you rights or certain blessings. This again goes back to the fear the English had, what happens at the time of their death, if there are not rights or blessing how would they get into heaven.
Conclusion
My analysis of Hamlet’s fascination and fear of death has led me to think that William Shakespeare created this play for the people of England. The play was used as a podium that allowed for the concerns of the common English people to be seen and heard. It is not a coincident that Hamlet was written after the Reformation. It is not a coincident that the fears that Hamlet had of death could have been eased with Catholic traditions. Finally it is not a coincident that they all die in the end of the play, because in the end the Catholic traditions died in England.

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