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Summary: the Tragedy of Hamlet Throughout the Play

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In most families, there is a strong family bond, but the phrase “blood is thicker than water “has a deep meaning in the lengthiest play, “Hamlet’ written by William Shakespeare. The play involves varies controversies between several characters referencing betrayal or treachery, revenge, incest and moral corruption. The protagonist is very reflective and sensitive therefore unfit for taking revenge through action. Revenge can cause one to act blindly through anger, rather than the reasoning. It is based on the principle of “an eye for an eye”, this principle is not always an intelligent theory many have thought to live by. Young Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet were all looking for revenge for their fathers’ deaths which they all acted on emotion, and this have led to the downfall of two and the rise of one. The heads of the three major families were each murder, the sons of these families sworn to have revenge, but two out of three died exacting their acts of vengeance which is why one of the controversies, revenge is a major theme in the play, Hamlet. 

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The beginning of Hamlet, one’s mortality and the complexities of life and death were introduced. Hamlet couldn’t stop pondering and considering the meaning of life and its eventual ending. In Hamlet’s mind the idea of death isn’t so bad; it’s the uncertainty or doubt of the afterlife that frightens Hamlets away from suicide, even he’s obsessed with the notion. A turning point for Hamlet occurred in the graveyard scene in Act V; before hamlet was appalled and revolted by moral corruption of living people; seeing Yorick’s skull (someone he loved and respected) propels Hamlet’s realization has thought that death eliminates the difference between people. The Mass number of bodies at the end of hamlet can be misleading, even though eight of the nine primary characters died. The question of the morality has yet been answered. The question about death, suicide, and what comes after are left answer too. Hamlet presented an exploration and discussion without a true resolution. 

Throughout the play, Hamlet muse on and toys with the idea of death. His famous fourth soliloquy’s opening lines, “to be, or not to be” shows Hamlet was thinking about suicide. His turning point of realization comes in the graveyard scene again; Hamlet looks at the skull and remembers the man he was fond of, Yorick. In his musings, Hamlet realizes that death eliminates the difference between people. The class-conscious structure of society is illusory and ultimately crumbles into dust, just like the bones of those long gone. Hamlet originally acts mad or crazy to fool people into think he is harmless while mourning the death of his father and Claudius’s involvement. Polonius says, “though this be madness, yet there is method in’t”; Polonius’s assertion is ironic because he is right and wrong. Polonius falsely accused Hamlet ‘s madness was because he was in love with Ophelia (Polonius daughter). As the Play progresses, Hamlet’s behavior became more erratic. His madness seemed to lose his grip on reality. The circumstances he has managed emotionally were difficult. Hamlet exposed physical violence acts when under stress that shows he has a deeper-set issue than merely acting mad. Hamlet choices and impulses left him questioning, what gives him the right to act as such without consequences. Only two female characters were involved in this play, in which the death of both also indicated a social commentary. Hamlet care for both women, but he was also suspicious, as well. Gertrude, (Hamlet’s beloved mother) Hamlet feels she remarried too quickly and because she married to quickly must meant she wasn’t in love with her first husband. 

The idea freaked Hamlet out. Then there’s Ophelia; from the way the characters spoke, hamlet seemed to have been wooing Ophelia for some time. After Hamlets starts to act mad, it didn’t take him long to assume Ophelia, Gertrude, Polonius and Claudius was on each other side. Ophelia obeyed her father and her king. Hamlet feels as if each woman has let him down, respectively. Hamlet’s critical and quick to point of flaws though puns and mockery comments. Ophelia is usually view as a true victim, while Gertrude’s role is presented with more flexibility. In either case, the role and treatment of women in hamlet is essential to discuss with an open mind. In the state of the nation, Denmark is deteriorating. The death of Its king throws any nation into a political turmoil; with a new king on the throne the deceased king’s son acting erratically. When the guard Marcellus said famously, “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, he wasn’t making a mockery out of hamlet’s bathing habits, His words referred to how something evil and vile is approaching. This moment could be interpreted as foreshadowing of an impending death of most of the principles characters. But it also refers to the political unrest Denmark is feeling as a nation.

 The political livelihood of Denmark can be directly linked back to mental state of Hamlet at many points throughout the play. Usually, when a movie is based on a story in a book or a play, the two stories are not the same. The movie tends to add small details or leave out some details in order to reach a certain time limited and to make the story to make some think it would be interesting to watch. Hamlet the movie by Gregory Doran, has some difference details left out from the actual play. Neither of the versions of hamlet are the same when it comes to showing emotions of a certain character. Because the Gregory Doran version is rich in the emotions and dialogue of the characters, it is okay to say the book version isn’t very different from the film version isn’t very different from the film version. Also, the emotions the director emphasized made it more realistic and believable since this film is more modern in a sense. Gertrude has been confronted by Hamlet. She runs to Claudius to tell about the confrontation she explains his emotions. Gertrude says that he is mad as the sea during a violent storm; she also tells Claudius that hamlet has killed Polonius. Claudius then decides that the best thing to do is to send hamlet away to England, he then orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to go after him at once. In Doran’s film, it is much different than the actual play. There is much more acting being portrayed in the film and more emotions are being shown by Gertrude than Claudius. In the play, it is presented differently, Claudius shows more emotions and is in great disbelief. In the film, there are also many more characters presented in the scene rather than it just being Claudius and Gertrude. In this scene, it’s all Hamlet and Claudius exchanges words to each other. Claudius attempting to convince a Hamlet that he is not responsible for his father’s death. In the movie, it seems the setting was gothic, dark with dark tones, modern clothing, estate and manor, and camera where place through the scenes. The movie was shorter in length, it skipped lines 34-43 and 53-65.

 Also, more abrupt and seemed to be rushed. The Fortinbras’ scene, his army was not present. Hamlet soliloquy were known as “vlogs”. Hamlets vlogs severs as an act of rebellion towards Claudius. Though there where so many cameras, unlike others in the film, Hamlet’s isn’t sleek or black or white but rather old and rickety. The cameras angle is stagnant. The tone of the movie was: angry, vengeful, bitter with lots of pausing and minimal body language. There is no background music only Hamlet’s dialogues. Hamlet mission is to seek his revenge on whoever killed his father. For him to achieve his goal, he manipulates and use tactics to reveal the truth. Hamlet’s father’s ghost comes to tell hamlet that he was killed by hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. Hamlet won’t kill Claudius himself, but will manipulate other characters until the truth is revealed. Readers begin to question whether Hamlet is truly mad because he acts sane and normal around certain characters and completely insane around others. Towards Horatio, he acts sane because he has already told him his secret. Around Claudius, Gertrude, and Polonius, he acts insane. Hamlet is outraged that just after his father’s death, his mother remarried his uncle, Claudius. Hamlet subtly brings up his mother’s marriage in Act I and wants her to feel guilty about her new marriage to Claudius. “Soft! Now to my mother. O heart, lose not thy nature, let not ever the soul of Nero enter this firm bosom: Let me be cruel, not unnatural: I will speak daggers to her, but use none; my tongue and soul in this be hypocrites; how in my words so ever she be shent, to give them seals never, my soul, consent”. He uses her guilt to manipulate her to get what he wants. He acts violently towards her, screaming about all the sins she has committed and how wrong she was for marrying his uncle. He uses this as a tactic to intimidate her and have her question her marriage with Claudius. The question is, is this extreme anger caused by his madness or is he using it as a tactic for Gertrude to leave Claudius. It seems his most erratic behavior is in the presence of Polonius. He knows Polonius communicates with Claudius and Gertrude, and therefore must make sure act of madness is not discovered. When he continues this act of madness, it makes no one question his sanity and get him one step closer to the truth. He later kills Polonius and claims it wasn’t “him” who committed the deed. Polonius describes Hamlet madness in Act II when he says:” He knew not at first; he said I was a fishmonger: he is far gone, far gone: and truly in my youth I suffered much extremely for love, very near this”. Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, though lack of any redeeming characters really sours the play for audiences. It is a great story of revenge and intrigue, but most of the characters are motivated by selfish ambition, which makes the overall tone of the play quite dark. Shakespeare wrote other tragedies, and those are the plays that readers will like more. Revenge was considered very sinful; so naturally Shakespeare depicts humans taking revenge into their own hands as having epic and tragic consequences, as Hamlet end with not only the end of one family, but of an entire kingdom, as Fortinbras’s army arrives from Norway.

 Shakespeare emphasizes this throughout the play. Hamlet is emotionally shaken and consumed by his master plan to kill his uncle, but at no point is Hamlet is he mad. He is determined to make Claudius suffer for what he has done, so he restrains himself until the perfect time for he takes what is his, revenge. The murder of Polonius is a sheer accident, Hamlet acts his reflex and Polonius was in the way. Hamlet is suffering from the loss of his father and true love. Therefore, considering suicide is unavoidable, he is reasonably very tempted. Hamlet knows that it is a shortsighted decision and chooses not to. Hamlet recognizes that the ghost is not necessarily good, just because it has the appealing shape of his father. Hamlet demands stronger evidence that Claudius is the murderer, before making a rash decision. This is a logical precaution. The ghost being a figment in imagination does not make him crazy, it just an express Theon his vivid memory. Hamlet’s mask of insanity is only a component of his plan. Hamlet is burdened with the task of killing his uncle, and he is determined to do so. This put him under a lot of pressure, making logical and well calculated decision throughout the entire play is a testament to Hamlet’s sanity. As for his acts of madness, that is simply an outlet to just stiff any less then reputable mistakes that he makes when carrying out his plan. There are many paths Hamlet could have taken throughout the play, which he owns doubtfulness prevented him from doing. 

Hamlet’s display is attributed to the hesitant behavior towards his father’s revenge due to several internal conflicts and personality traits Hamlets possess. From the beginning of the play, Hamlet is in unknown state about the validity of anything occurring around him. Hamlet’s doubts in the truthfully of his father’s spirit, doubts of his own ambitions and over analyzing the world around him, left Hamlet a very unclear man which ultimately led him to his own death. His last act of dying is suited to his flawed but human character. It is also a way to redeem himself. His death proves his capacity for inner strength which is a huge difference from his weak character depicted all throughout the play. He attains justice for the death of his father at all cost, even at the cost of his life. The other characters, same way realized their full potential when faced with the struggles by facing the uncertainties of death which Hamlet so strongly fear the point of the story. By dying, they can overcome the fear that are associated with death. The play turns revenge tragedy on its head by taking away the usual obstacles to the hero’s vengeance. Hamlet, the hero learns the identity of his father’s murder at the end of Act I, and he positioned his self to kill Claudius in the beginning. No characters Prevent him in his desire for revenge, and, living in the same place as his nemesis, he has many chances to enact his plot. Hamlet’s only real obstacle is in his head he uncertain what he should believe and how he should act. While the play, being a tragedy, is generally seen as very serious, in some ways it seems to make fun of the revenge tragedies that came before it. When Hamlet cried l remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindness villain/ O, vengeance!” some readers might think he sound like a sillier version of Hieronimo, the hero for “The Spanish Tragedy” .

Shakespeare was a led to make Hamlet’s madness seemed interesting; in fact, the was no evidence that showed Hamlet ever actually suffered from any madness at all. hamlet says to other characters in : “here, as before, never, so help mercy, how strange or odd soe’er I bear…as I perchance hereafter shall think meet. To put an antic disposition on…”, his friend is not to think or react if he seems mad because he is only putting on a mad appearance. But by the end on the play, he apologized to Laertes, and blames the murder of Polonius on madness.

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