Hamlet: World Of Illusions Of The Main Character

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The contradiction between repelling thoughts may lead a character to his or her demise. Within the tragedy, Hamlet by poet William Shakespeare unfolds the many aspects of deception and revenge. Moreover, the person behind those actions falls into deep consideration been right from wrong. However, the basis between what is defined as right or wrong is established based on his or her intentions. As a result, Prince Hamlet falls into ambiguity when he is left to decide whether to approve or act upon Claudius’ treacherous marriage to his mother.

Hamlet’s first impressions of his mother’s hasty marriage leave him in disarray. Depressed and infuriated Hamlet states, “O that this too solid flesh would melt… / But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue” (Shakespeare 1. 2. 42-44). Here, it could be seen that Hamlet is overburdened with the death of his biological father alone. Also, to mound more frustrations upon Hamlet is Gertrude’s marriage to King Hamlet’s brother Claudius. Combining the two actions lead Hamlet into disparity, so much so that he considers suicide as a feasible option. Yet, as a Protestant Hamlet knows that suicide is prohibited, and a sin if one were to commit to the sorrowful act. The two diverging thoughts about whether to honor his mother’s marriage or continue to mourn for his lost father pulls Hamlet apart. To such a great extent that he concludes that women are nothing more but fiends who cling to men at the slightest display of affection.

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Moreover, left with such a bitter taste, Hamlet distrusts all women even the one he considers his love. Hamlet believes Ophelia, daughter of Polonius, was his love but it was stripped from him after Gertrude’s marriage. Throughout the tragedy, it showcases Hamlet treating Ophelia with continuous, ill-mannered actions such as yelling discourteous comments at her. However, there are hints weaved into the plot that Hamlet is only doing so as a ruse. Hence, it implies that Hamlet genuinely still loves Ophelia but must carry the burden to mask his true feelings to not jeopardize his goals. Making it compelling that Hamlet despises that he must commit to the obligation of sacrificing his relationship with Ophelia.

Furthermore, before knowing Claudius’ scheme on how he claimed the throne Hamlet encountered an apparition of his murdered father. In the moments leading to King Hamlets’ unveil of Claudius’ treasonous actions Hamlet mentally questioned his legitimacy. His thought even validates the idea that the ghost of King Hamlet could possibly be a demon with malicious intentions. Therefore, it unfolds one of Hamlet’s first conflicting desires because he wants to believe the ghost yet is still wary of the possible risks.

Enraged by what he has learned of Claudius, Hamlet develops a plan to avenge King Hamlet. Amid his plan, Hamlet confirms that Claudius murdered King Hamlet with the play the Murder of Gonzago, which is coincidentally a mirror to King Hamlet’s death. Later, Hamlet finds Claudius pray and contemplates, “Now might I do it pat, now he is a-praying… / This physic but prolongs thy sickly days” (3. 3. 76-100). Shrouded by temptation Hamlet, at first, readies his word to slay Claudius while at his prayers. Hamlet’s ambitions place him on the brink of ending it all, however, yet again religion inclines him to turn a blind eye. As a Protestant, anyone murdered while praying would simply be brought to heaven, while the murder would be sent to hell. So, as Hamlet regains his stability he realizes that murdering a man under prayer would only contradict his objective. Thus, the situation in its entirety symbolizes the premise of opposing ambitions.

In conclusion, Hamlet could be summarized by Alan Watts who states, “A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So, he loses touch with reality and lives in a world of illusions. By thoughts I mean specifically “chatter in the skull”… perpetual and compulsive repetition of words… of reckoning and calculating”.  

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