Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a complex story of revenge, the lack of love, and the”madness” of Hamlet. Hamlet is a victim of his own humanity. The decisionshe must make, make him human, and his indecisiveness makes him a man.
Hisfather’s ghost asks Hamlet to avenge his death, and Hamlet’s procrastinationto do so adds to his humanity. “What we have in Hamlet is the exploration andimplicit criticism of a particular state of mind or consciousness. In Hamlet,Shakespeare uses a series of encounters to reveal the complex state of the humanmind, made up of reason, emotion, and attitude towards the self, to allow thereader to make a judgment or form an opinion about fundamental aspects of humanlife” (L. C.
Knight, 192). Hamlet had many opportunities to kill Claudius buthe decided not to and rested the justification on his morals. Hamlet tries tologically think of a way to rid the world of the treacherous King, and hislogic, and intelligence were his downfall. Like any tragic hero these were histragic flaws.
“Hamlet’s primary dilemma is that of every human being. . . ” (Cahn69). Hamlet is presented by Shakespeare as the ideal man. He is described byOphelia in Act 3 Scene 1 lines 163-167 “O, what a noble mind is hereo’erthrown! The courtier’s, soldiers, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword, (Th’expectancy) and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion and the mold ofform.
. . “. Hamlet is what every man should be and as such an extreme , he isalso presented with an extreme situation. “He is a superman among men” (G.
W. Knight 38). Hamlet is a very smart individual, and he uses his intelligence totry to solve the mystery of how to expose his uncle, and prove what the ghostsaid. In trying to prove Claudius’s guilt, Hamlet aroused suspicion. His uncletried to get rid of Hamlet by sending him to England on a “diplomatic”visit, which was really a plea by Claudius for the King of England to executeHamlet.
Hamlet figured this out, and came back to Denmark, only after sendinghis escorts to their death, “For in the war of logic it will be found that he(Hamlet) has all the guns” (G. W. Knight 39). Hamlet is the only character thatis true to himself, his beliefs, and his principles.
This is why heprocrastinates, it not his nature to kill, and he feels that if he does murderClaudius he will be no better than Claudius. “The play dramatizes theperpetual struggle to which all civilization that is genuine is doomed”(Alexander 184). His principles make him human, and as such he must suffer whatall humanity suffers from, a conscience. This led to his ultimate, yetvictorious end.
Hamlet was a respected and loved man. Fortinbras said “For hewas likely. . .
To have proved most royal. ” Hamlet’s humanity brought Hamlet tohis tragic death. Hamlet’s humanity is also what helped make Hamlet amasterpiece, T. S. Elliot I believe said it best when he proclaimed Hamlet to bethe “Mona Lisa of literature”. BibliographyAlexander, Peter Hamlet, Father and Son.
The Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1955. pp. 183-185 Cahn, Victor L. Shakespeare The Playwright: A Companion to theComplete Tragedies, Histories and Romances.
Greenwood Press, New York 1991Knight, G. W. “The Embassy of Death” in The Wheel of Fire Methuen ~r Co. ,Ltd.
London 1954. Knight, L. C. Some Shakespeare Themes & An Approach toHamlet. Stanford University Press, San Fransisco 1966 Elliot, T.
S. The SacredWood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism. 1922 Shakespeare, William HamletWashington Square Press, New York 1922