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Summary: the Play Hamlet as a Revenge Tragedy

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Hamlet in the play “Hamlet” is an interesting story of a young man whose inability to do things causes him to go into a mad like depression state of being. It can be argued that Hamlet isn’t really mad or insane at all but was merely very depressed. And this depression is a vital component of the playit factors into stretching and spacing the play in order to make it interesting by filling in more plot. If Hamlet had not delayed his revenge there would have been no play. Many explanations of the delay have been offered in the last four centuries. None is convincing. The interpretation which best fits the evidence best is that Hamlet was suffering from an depressive illness. Hamlet simply could not commit any action according to get revenge from Claudius which then caused almost seven deaths in the story. In addition it can be noted that hamlet’s depression is a major driving factor in the progression of the play and the delaying and continuous questioning of himself. He prefers to rationalize his thoughts rather than act on them therefore delaying them and putting him in a questioning and doubt state of mind. It can be argued that without the vital delay Shakespeare play would not be considered a tragedy and the play would be incomplete.

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First of all, the character Hamlet is displayed at times weak and ineffective always questioning the decision in front of him. He was never a strong-willed person always delayed his decisions and could never decide what he really wanted to do. Hamlet emotionally scarred from his father’s death accompanied with her mother’s relationship shortly after his father’s death left him in a depressive state. This mostly begun form when the ghost of his father was present. Through the ghost we can tell that he initially began to feel a stronger sympathy to his father’s death and was the point where he knew he had to get revenge. But the momentous pressure of avenging his father’s death was too much of an emotional toil on him for example he almost resortes to suicide a common consequence in uncontrollable depression. This is displayed by his saying “that the Everlasting had not fixed/ His canon gainst self-slaughter”. Here Hamlet is so depressed that he contemplates suicide, but won’t go through with it because it’s a sin. The death the stress, the new king and suicide found Hamlet confused and was unable to execute and progressive action either good or bad. From this depression, suicide was brought in question but Hamlet still couldn’t act on that either he delays and tries to rationalize whether it’s worth it or not. Shakespeare has displayed a man with depressive condition who is unable to cope with heavy responsibility During the times of shakespeare when psychology was very primitive the concept was not fully understood. During that time more people focused on the tangible and called it a state of melancholy. And during this time many referred depression as melancholy and nothing more. This leads us further into Hamlets diagnosis of depression in  Hamlets admits that he is depressed and self declares it saying he is melancholic. After that we can see a common statement among many people who suffer depression and that is disconnect with the world. Hamlet’s makes this clear to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and says “How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world!”.More evidence can be found for Hamlet’s depression for example,. He highlights sleep disturbance as a factor of his condition “were it not that I have bad dreams”. This can be linked to the excessive amounts of worrying that Hamlet does, it is found that depressed people dream way more than the average person because of the massive amounts of stress and emotions they go through causing them to recall and remember during their sleep.

Secondly, Hamlet sis displayed as being mad or out of his mind and senses. Many people connect his condition to precisely being insane, But even though it is true that he shows some signs of being insane it still doesn’t explain why he would go through those changes. Him being insane means he wouldn’t rationalize like in the To be or not to be sylliqui and instead or tae a comprehensive and logical/worrisome approach to things he would be haphazard and take decisions through will. Unlike the logic and understanding of consequence repeatedly demonstrates. The events with Ophelia can be seen as insane but it need to be remembered that many patients suffering with depression express overly negative thoughts and behavior. AMny are known pessimist and so is Hamlet for example in his comments and aggressive behavior towards Ophelia can be demonstrated with overly negative and aggressive state of mind due to the agitation of responsibility. Hamlet of indecisiveness in “To be, or not to be” soliloquy.(III.i.56–82) He shows a sense of disappointment and is unhappy with not getting results as quick as he boasted about taking no time for revenge. Hamlets set too high expectations for himself therefore failure followed and caused him to fall in the hole of depression.

Finally, We have to question whether Shakespeare plays is a tragedy or not. The idea of Hamlet’s being ill under the influence of depression questions whether or not it was a tragedy. The definition of tragedy in the Shakespeare’s reference is in two ways one is the Tragedy of circumstance and the Tragedy of Miscalculation. The tragedy of circumstance is when the character is born into a misspap they cannot control. Hamlet’s depression and the storyline of shakespeare doesn’t show this. And neither does it the Tragedy of miscalculation because Hamlet had no control of his father’s death or control over his mid in a depressive state. The play Hamlet is described as a revenge tragedy and in this type of tragedy the villain and the good are both in demise and in ruins. But what need to be noted is that Hamlets demise was never generated by his clear thoughts and actions he was under the influence of depression. Hamlet’s demise never came from his bad qualities but instead it came from his illness. 

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