Hamlet the Central Dilemma

1922 Words Sep 29th, 1999 8 Pages
HAMLET ESSAY “The central dilemma in Hamlet is the character and life’s journey of a man whose mind is in paralysis. To what extent is this an adequate summary of Hamlet?” Hamlet certainly is a play with complex themes and issues. As we read through the rich script we uncover many dilemmas and issues that have great bearing on the direction of the play, and the consequences of the character’s actions. One such character is, of course, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. It is around this man that the play revolves, and his thoughts and actions are closely followed and developed as the play progresses. It has been said that the central dilemma of the play is that Hamlet’s mind is in paralysis, meaning simply …show more content…
This comes in the form of the players, and Hamlet plans to prepare a play for Claudius depicting the murder of King Hamlet, in order to play on Claudius’ conscience and determine his guilt. “ … I’ll have these players Play something like the murther of my father Before mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks, I’ll tent him to the quick: if ‘a do blench, I know my course” Act II Scene 2 Another common feature of the revenge tragedy theme was that the villain was always “hoist with his own petar”, or killed as a result of his own evil plan. Shakespeare has provided this in the form of the battle at the end of the play, where Claudius is run through with the poison sword, and made to drink from the chalice he himself poisoned. When Hamlet receives the grave commission from the ghost, the ghost tells him also that he must not let his course of action implicate his mother or taint his own soul. How can he expose Claudius as a fraud without implicating his adulterous mother? An impossible task for Hamlet. Another major reason for Hamlet’s delay is the fact that if Claudius were to be killed privately, many would see it as an act of ambition for the throne, rather than purifying Denmark. Even his friends, Rosencrantz and Gildenstern, believe Hamlet is
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