“We know what we are, but not what we may be,” a quote by Shakespeare. In the Shakespearean play The Tragedy of Hamlet, the protagonist Hamlet finds himself in the presence of what appears to be his father’s ghost. Is this ghost the devil in disguise trying to make Hamlet do his bidding, or did newly appointed king Claudius actually do devil 's work by killing Hamlet 's father? The word devil illuminates the true meaning of the play, which is men may believe they know who one is, however the devil can change who they will become. Such as Hamlet who set out to avenge his father’s murder became a murderer himself.
The word ‘devil’ comes from the Greek word ‘diabolos’ which is the spirit or power of evil. The devil is found in almost all religions and is thought to keep the gates of hell. In the 1500’s Catholicism was the most common religion in England, before the rule of Queen Elizabeth. The devil played a tremendous role among believers and is even thought to have had as much of a force on the people as God did. Catholics feared this being and believed their sins would send them straight to hell. Shakespeare uses this fear of the devil in Hamlet to illustrate the uncertainty of whether one could potentially be a devil. In act 2, Hamlet sees what he believes may be the ghost of his father, but the fear that this ghost may be a devil consumes his thoughts. In act 2 scene 2 Hamlet says aloud “The spirit that I have seen may be a devil; and the devil hath power to ' assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps out of my weakness and my melancholy, as he is very potent with such spirits abuses me to damn me” ( Shakespeare 2.2.610-615). Hamlet questions his father’s legitimacy which shows that he does not want to be c...
... middle of paper ...
...that by committing a sin one is doing the devil 's work. For example Claudius poisons his brother, Hamlet 's father. Claudius was trusted by his family, but the devil changes him, and by doing the a devil’s deed, committing murder Hamlet believes he becomes a devil. The word devil in this play can also shed light on poor decisions not made out of corruption, like murder, but out of innocence and poor judgement. In the case of Gertrude, she was not possessed by the devil like Claudius , but rather her judgement was hindered by him. Hamlet thought he knew his mother, however the devil changed her. When a character in Hamlet uses ‘devil’ in vain, such as Laertes in act five, scene one, it reveals how the devil can change men. Telling Hamlet the devil should take his soul demonstrates how Laertes is corrupt and sinful, and how it is he who has been tainted by the devil.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- William Shakespeare shaped "The Tragedy of Hamlet" in such a captivating manner through strong character development. Shakespeare gave life to well-rounded characters of the play by giving them characteristics and traits that the audience can recognize and relate to. A strong memorable character in any play has to come to life in front of the audience with standout traits and plausible characteristics. Even though Gertrude does not voice her thoughts and stand quiet most of the play, she is developed as a strong character in the play that affects the tragic plot.... [tags: Hamlet, Tragedy, Marriage, Characters in Hamlet]
1018 words (2.9 pages)
- The “The Tragedy of Hamlet” by William Shakespeare is one of critical success and one of the most well discussed and analyzed plays in literature. Hamlet is set in the late medieval period in Denmark and was written between 1600-1602 in London, England. The protagonist Hamlet feels a responsibility to revenge the death of his father who was murdered by his Uncle Claudius who is now King of Denmark. Hamlet was made aware of who killed his father by a mysterious ghost. Throughout the play Hamlet struggles with whether he can trust the ghost and if killing Claudius is the right thing to do.... [tags: Hamlet, KILL, Tragedy, Mother]
1392 words (4 pages)
- William Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye both follow a young male protagonist who is just out of school and attempting to come to terms with the ideas of death and mortality. In their respective stories, Hamlet and Holden inform the reader of the tragic death of a family member that they are still dealing with. While both of these deaths occurred before the stories began, they both shape the entirety of the plot. These deaths deeply affect both of the main characters and neither knows how to cope with it.... [tags: Hamlet, Tragedy, The Catcher in the Rye, Life]
1527 words (4.4 pages)
- Tragedy In Hamlet In the story of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, there are many different perceptions of what the tragedy could be. In my opinion, the tragedy in Hamlet was a direct result of the foul play emitted by Claudius onto the royal family of Denmark, and his refusing to reveal his evil plot. From these acts, a series of events developed could have been avoided by a simple act of confession. Claudius, the envious brother of King Hamlet, seeks the royal advantages of life and plans to gain them by killing King Hamlet.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Prince Hamlet]
1027 words (2.9 pages)
- The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a play that was written by William Shakespeare. In the play, the stage is set up for corruption, backstabbing, and murder. Throughout the whole play, Hamlet wants revenge for his father’s death, but he loses himself in the process. The play opens with the death of the old King Hamlet, and also ends with a series of deaths. Hamlet is upset about his rights to the throne being taken away when his mother, Gertrude, remarried so soon after his father’s death.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]
1988 words (5.7 pages)
- Does avoiding conflict actually help solve the problem. Can we simply ignore conflicts in this life so they will eventually disappear. The major conflict in the play is that Hamlet feels that it is his duty to avenge his father 's murder by his uncle Claudius. However, Claudius is now the king and therefore well protected. In addition, Hamlet struggles with his uncertainties about whether he can trust the ghost and whether killing King Claudius is the correct thing to do. The other characters are conflicted in the play too, about what they should do to better the often tragic situation they find themselves in.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]
1524 words (4.4 pages)
- In the play by William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”, Hamlet’s father is dead at the beginning, and Hamlet’s uncle (remove commas because this is not an appositive phrase) Claudius marries Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, and assumes the position of king, despite Hamlet being next in line for the throne. Throughout the play, Hamlet struggles with the idea of murdering a man who wronged him to protect his father’s honor. (Consider making this your first body paragraph) When the throne is stolen from Hamlet, a desire to avenge his deceased father is engendered in him.... [tags: Hamlet, Ghost, KILL, Characters in Hamlet]
1210 words (3.5 pages)
- In William Shakespeare’s novel, The Tragedy of Hamlet, he starts right from the beginning in the play with a theme. The theme that he starts with is corruption which means a person is dishonest and fraudulent with being in power. It can take someone’s morality over, becoming anxious and morally corrupted because of a certain aspect of life has dysfunction. In Hamlet, it is demonstrated while Hamlet is seeking revenge for his father’s death. Ophelia, Hamlet’s girlfriend, is confused on what is going on.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Ghost, Gertrude]
1449 words (4.1 pages)
- The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, written by William Shakespeare, is considered to be one of his most perplexing plays. The tragedy follows the story of Prince Hamlet as he undergoes states of insanity, depression, and eventual death. Theories regarding Hamlet’s relationship with Ophelia are developed through subplots and leave the reader questioning as to whether Hamlet truly loved her. Arguments can be made that Hamlet and Ophelia love one another, but there are many obstacles that prevent them from rightly being together.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Love, Gertrude]
1066 words (3 pages)
- The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by the world-renowned William Shakespeare is an incredible play with an intricate plot despite its relatively short length. The main character trait that keeps the plot moving is Hamlets’ desire for bloody revenge against his uncle Claudius for murdering his father. As the story continues it becomes obvious that Hamlet and his desire for vengeance is self-destructive and hurting his family and life more than Claudius himself. Coinciding with this key trait is the theme that one should not let their emotions control their actions, as Hamlet can easily minimize collateral damage in his revenge ploy, but does not even consider it because he acts so much... [tags: Hamlet, Gertrude, Characters in Hamlet, Character]
1647 words (4.7 pages)
- Interview Experience : An Hour Long Discussion With Lance
- Mandatory Recess Time And Extending Class Time
- Article IIi, The Doctrine Of Standing And The Parens Patriae
- Richard Wright 's `` Native Son And His Autobiography Black Boy ``
- Leadership Challenges Faced By Anthony Toughest Challenges
- The 1934 Securities Act