Hamlet's Loss of Faith

1323 Words Nov 20th, 2014 6 Pages
There comes a time in one’s life when he loses faith in his beliefs or in his relationships. In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Hamlet’s uncle Claudius, murders Hamlet’s father to inherit the crown of Denmark and the love of Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude. Throughout the play there are six soliloquies that reveal the character of Hamlet and others. In more than any other Shakespearean play, the audience is painted a better picture of Hamlet’s mind. Shakespeare questions the social and Christian institutions in the face of tragedy with the usage of several ambiguous phrases. Through word play and tone shifts, Hamlet’s collapsing sanity is reflected and shows the deconstruction of his views towards the Church and its values and his family. Hamlet’s …show more content…
Hamlet scorns the Divine law and struggles with the fact that his faith has abandoned him. This is the turning point where Hamlet’s worldview of religion and its values comes crashing down. In addition to cursing God, Hamlet begins to also curse his uncle by comparing the current king to the previous king, who, Hamlet believes was “So excellent a king; that was, to this, / Hyperion to a satyr” (I.ii.139-40). By comparing his father to Hyperion, the sun god in Greek Mythology, Hamlet “virtually denies [his father and Claudius] a common humanity, forcing them to the opposite ends of the human portion of the cosmic scale, the godlike and bestial” (Kaula). Shakespeare exemplifies Hamlet’s high regard for his father, while subtly stating his loathing for Claudius. Hamlet sees his deceased father as a godlike character by juxtaposing Claudius with a satyr, a half-goat half-man creature, known for its drunken and lustful tendencies. While Shakespeare uses several literary devices such as juxtaposition and allusion to curse both the Church and King Claudius, he also implements a double meaning to evoke even more ambiguity in the audience. Hamlet, who is considering taking his life because of his unfortunate situation, exclaims that his “canon 'gainst self-slaughter” is the answer to his evolving feelings of suicide. Shakespeare uses an aural pun to show that Hamlet thinks about suicide for the