Explore the different themes within William Shakespeare 's tragic play, Hamlet. Themes are central to understanding Hamlet as a play and identifying Shakespeare's social and political commentary.
The Tragic Flaw in the Hero It is chiefly character that is responsible for the tragic fate of the hero, but a Shakespearean tragedy also arouses a feeling that there is a mysterious power in this universe, whom we may call Fate or Destiny or Providence, that operates in the universe and is responsible for the manner in which things take shape.
Hamlet is by nature a deep type of man very much given to philosophic speculations. He is not by nature a man of action, though he certainly performs certain actions on the spur of the moment. Whenever he acts, he acts on impulse pnly.
He is incapable of formulating a bold plan of action and executing it. This is the reason why he is not able to accomplish the task that has been imposed upon him by the Ghost.
He very much wants to avenge the murder of his father, but he goes on delaying his revenge till he himself becomes a victim of the intrigue of a man whom he should have killed long before.
This dilatoriness, this tendency to procrastination, constitutes a serious defect of character which eventually leads to the tragedy of Hamlet. The Responsibility of a Supernatural Power: The very appearance of the Ghost is a manifestation of Fate.
But, with the passage of time, Hamlet would have gradually recovered from this feeling of melancholy and might have been able to lead a normal life. The Ghost of the dead King appears and makes a revelation which shocks and bewilders Hamlet.
Hamlet feels dismayed by the situation in which he now find himself and he thus gives expression to his feeling: These words show that Hamlet is already aware of his inadequacy for the task that has been imposed upon him.
The Role of Accident The manifestations of fate are also seen in the accidents of life. In Hamlet, we witness such a manifestation of fate in the accidental encounter of the ship, by which Hanhlet is proceeding to England, with a pirate vessel.
If this accident had not occurred, Hamlet would have arrived in England, perhaps, never to return. As it is, fate intervenes with the result that Hamlet is able to come back to Denmark, so that the story takes the course that it does.
This accident in the play then confirms the impression of the existence in this universe of that mysterious power to which we give the name of fate.
Remarks Suggestive of a Supernatural Power Next, there are a couple of remarks that Hamlet makes in Act V, Scene ii, which also serve to confirm the same impression. A little later, in the same scene, again speaking to Horatio, Hamlet says with reference to the possibility of danger in his playing a fencing-match with Laertes: Commenting on this speech of Hamlet, a critic writes: In all the instances he gives us, the moral to be drawn is that the warning is neglected and the fate comes.
But it is plaia that he suspected nothing in the challenge to fence with Laertes. He never once examined the foils or measured them, but picked up the first that came to hand, and took the length on trust. The Working of Fate As Seen in Some of the Deaths Finally, the manner in which several characters including Hamlet are killed almost at the same time confirms the impression of fate.
When Laertes has injured Hamlet with the rapier the point of which had been dipped in poison,and Hamlet now wounds Laertes with the some fatal rapier with which he himself has already been wounded. Hamlet possesses some mysterious or vast power we apprehend some mysterious, vast power.
Not only docs the feeling of a supreme power or destiny become very strong in us as we read through this play, but it also has at times a peculiar tone which may be called religious.
Of course, it is true that we do not imagine the supreme power as a divine being who avenges crime or as a providence which super- naturally interferes, but we do get the feeling that Shakespeare is here using current religious ideas.
Monday, October 19, Related Posts via Taxonomies.Explore the different themes within William Shakespeare's tragic play, Hamlet. Themes are central to understanding Hamlet as a play and identifying Shakespeare's social and political commentary.
Mortality. The weight of one's mortality and the complexities of life and death are .
The status of fate and fortune as determining factors in Shakespearean tragedy has drawn the attention of numerous scholars eager to understand the patterns of tragic causality in such works as Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and Timon of Athens.
Directly related to the theme of certainty is the theme of action. How is it possible to take reasonable, effective, purposeful action? In Hamlet, the question of how to act is affected not only by rational considerations, such as the need for certainty, but also by emotional, ethical, and psychological factors.
Mar 24, · It seems that, in Hamlet, there is a mixture of old and new religious connotations. Shakespeare’s play creates a dichotomy between religious and secular world views. In the play, it seems as though Shakespeare uses religious references where the Ghost is made to represent Roman Catholicism and Hamlet to represent Reviews: 4.
Jan 26, · The Theme of Death in William Shakespeare's Hamlet In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist, Hamlet is obsessed with the idea of death, and during the course of the play he contemplates death from numerous perspectives.
And Hamlet is even more surprised when his father's ghost appears and declares that he was murdered. Exact dates are unknown, but scholars agree that Shakespeare published Hamlet between and Many believe that Hamlet is the best of Shakespeare's work, and the perfect play.