An Unwilling Hamlet Essay

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In the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the main character, Hamlet is an unwilling creature. In having to enter and act in the world of his uncle, Hamlet becomes an unwilling creature of that world. When he chooses to obey the ghost's command and revenge his father, Hamlet accepts the inevitability that he must become part of this world. As the ripple of original vengeful intent widens and Hamlet is slowly but surely entangled in Claudius' brutal world through his madness, his murders, his plots, his relationship with other characters and his revelations on life and more importantly, death.

Even before the ghost urges Hamlet to avenge his death, Hamlet teeters on the edge of his uncle's brutal world. While
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Hamlet's acceptance of the task of revenge, even if somewhat reluctant, is the key to entering Claudius' world. Revenge in any context is morally wrong. Hamlet himself realises this and is aware that the deeds he is charged to commit can never bring about good, yet he knows he must complete them. "O, cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it right." (Act2, Scene1) Hamlet's intent to revenge his father's murder dooms him from the start because of his wish to catch Claudius where bystanders may also be witness to his guilt, therefore turning Hamlet from an assassin to an executioner. Although Hamlet does get his wish the price he pays is far too dear, perhaps however the death of those eight people was the only solution to correct the times that were "out of joint". Some may say that the end justifies the means but Hamlet does become an unwilling creature of Claudius' world because as the original seed of revenge took root Hamlet could do nothing but let it grow.

Hamlet's plots to catch Claudius centre on his will to find out whether or not the apparition he witnessed was telling the truth. In Shakespeare's time a ghost was often regarded as a misleading spirit so in this way Hamlet's procrastination coupled with his conscience makes it understandable that he does not act quickly.

The Mousetrap, the metatheatre used within the play is Hamlet's most cunning scheme.

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