Hamlet's Capacity For Self-Sacrifice Essay

1716 WordsNov 22, 20137 Pages
Topic: Discuss the ideas developed by the text creator about the individual’s capacity for self-sacrifice in the face of compelling circumstances. One single moment or event during the course of an individual’s life can effectively alter their priorities and transform their identity drastically. In The play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare introduces the readers to the protagonist Hamlet who is draped in anger and emotions and has a new-found mission in life. Initially, Hamlet is portrayed as an individual in mourning over his father's death and his mother's haste in remarrying to her brother-in-law and Hamlet's uncle, Claudius. However, Hamlet’s character and personality were drastically altered after meeting the Ghost and…show more content…
He therefore had to act mad even when talking to her because he realized his every move was being watched. This is evident when he told her he is not in love with her and that he never loved her. These statements by Hamlet caused him to inadvertently hurt Ophelia to such a great extent that she committed suicide. As a result, Hamlet was forced to permanently sacrifice his true love out of concern for his own safety and his goal. Hamlet’s determination and addiction for revenge is confirmed when he is willing to sacrifice his entrance to heaven by separating from his values and beliefs. Initially, Hamlet wishes “that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!” He is contemplating suicide as a result of his father’s death and his mother’s haste in remarrying to his father’s brother, Claudius. However, Hamlet brushes off this idea as an option by saying, “Or that the Everlasting had not fixed his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! Oh, God, God” This portrays the religious beliefs of Hamlet at the time. He wishes suicide was not a sin. However, since it is, he cannot commit it. Similarly, Hamlet also shows his beliefs and values when the Ghost shares his story and then commands Hamlet to avenge his death.

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