by Kellie Balfe (Circle 3)
Hamlet has been one of my favorite plays we have read this semester filled with symbolism, emotion and deceit. What really caught my interest is Hamlet’s inability to avenge his father. He realizes that he will in turn die for doing so yet he has no will to live otherwise. Hamlet as a character is fascinated with difficult questions that are in his mind require meaningful proof, however when shown proof that his father was killed by his uncle, Hamlet obsesses with trying to get his uncle to prove his guilt before acting. For example, Hamlet tries to spy on his uncle during the play the visiting actors are preforming, which closely relates to the real situation. By seeing proof that his uncle is guilty, with his running out of the room and causing a scene, Hamlet still wants to be sure he is guilty.
Hamlet’s actions are somewhat pre-meditated and taken upon with swiftness, and in some situations completely erratic balancing on the boarder of madness i.e, when he stabs Polonius behind the curtain without checking who was there. His behavior repulses and causes concern for those he is around, disrupting the order of their everyday lives and selling himself out.
Hamlet is also very melancholy within the play. He provokes the emotions of the audience allowing us to sympathize with him. His mother married her late husband’s murderer who happens to be Hamlet Sr.’s brother, this very taboo. She also did not consider her only child’s well being in the process of making very large life decisions.
The afterlife and the mystery of where one’s soul goes after they die is a rather strong theme in the play. After Hamlet meets the ghost of his father he becomes obsessed with the afterlife, pondering the where abouts of souls in cemeteries. Hamlet questions suicide multiple times and contemplates whether or not it is morally legitimate to take one’s life to escape the pain in their world. He then concludes that religiously he will go to hell for committing suicide, and that may be worse than what he is currently enduring, (III.i). This I believe may interfere with Hamlet’s ability to act and avenge his father. He as a character needs ethical and emotional proof and motivation in order to act, as well as the other character’s in this play. Most of the character’s plans to take action are manipulated and misguided and ultimately end in demise, i.e Laertes’ vengeance was quickly changed by Claudius and ended in his own death.