Hamlet In Hamlet

Decent Essays

Immediately after Claudius takes the throne, Hamlet can perceive the perversion of the court. “O, that this too, too sallied1 flesh would melt,/Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!” (Shakespeare, 1.2.129-130). According to Dodsworth, an instinctual revulsion does not account for Hamlet's feeling of self-disgust. In English society at the time, Hamlet's unusual family situation was not definitively incestuous. He claims that Hamlet's (and the Ghost's) complaint of incest is “subordinate” to the larger issue of loss of honor (Dodsworth, 46-47). I propose, however, that this shame is more deep-rooted; a result of the collective depravity. Of all the characters in the play, Hamlet is the most aware of the presence of sin in the court.
...To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation (Shakespeare, 3.3.59-63).
In Hamlets understanding, death is an escape from the pain of life: these pains, like “heart-ache” are “natural” and native to the body. All humans feel pain as it is an infection inherent to the “flesh.” Hamlet contends that the distorted life they are living is a permanent, unalterable destiny. “You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it” (3.1.115-116). He realizes that, even if “virtue” is enacted, even if good deeds are done, the “Old Adam” will not die. Later in the same scene, when Hamlet is speaking

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