Hamlet's View on Death in Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Hamlet is scared because he does not know what happens after you die. He is not afraid to die, but he will not kill himself because he is afraid that he will go to hell. In act 3 scene 3, Hamlet shows his belief in the bible by not killing his father while he is in prayer. He says,
“A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
According to the bible, if you repent of your sins you will be forgiven and go to heaven when you die, Hamlet believes this and that is why he does not kill Claudius in this scene. Another reason he does not kill his Claudius based on the reason above, he will not give Claudius the glory of …show more content…
He also learns that the reason his father is in this place is because he was murdered before he could repent of his sins. Hamlet feels that he has some duty as the ghost’s son to revenge him in hopes that it will fulfill his father’s journey to heaven or hell, because the current state that he is in seems worse than either of those.
Hamlet may also think that Denmark is a place between heaven and hell as his father is in another place between heaven and hell. A quote from act 2 scene 2 shows this,
Denmark's a prison.
Then is the world one.
A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o' the worst.”
Here, Hamlet refers to Denmark as a prison, where he cannot escape. It seems as though he wants to get away from the new king and get out of being prince. Or he sees the world as a prison keeping him from reaching heaven, like some kind of other hell that is not purely hell nor heaven. But he ensures that the whole world isn’t a hellish prison, but you can infer from him saying Denmark is the worst prison, that it is the most hell-like place on earth in his mind.
The gravedigger scene in act 5 scene 1 shows the most about how Hamlet feels about death. Hamlet refers to the skulls he finds belonging to other people and their past lives.
“That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: how the knave jowls it to the
Hamlet is strongly held by archetypes that can be revealed throughout the play. Death, itself, is a very strong archetype in the story exploring the social beliefs in that era; superstitions and societies loyalty to religion. Throughout the play, Hamlet experiences his main trifles over the concept of death. Reviewing the murder of his father and the task given to him to kill his uncle, Hamlet becomes fascinated with the idea of existence and afterlife.As a whole, Hamlet is primarily concerned with exploring the individual's relationship with death in which our fear of death comes from the notion that there must be something else, eliminating the fact that we can't ever know for sure if there is. This idea is explored in Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” soliloquy, which questions the righteousness of life over death in moral terms. When Hamlet utters the pained question, “to be, or not to be: that is the question / Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles” (Act 3, Scene 1 59-61) there is little doubt that he is thinking of death. Although he attempts to pose such a question in a rational and logical way, he is still left without an answer of whether the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” can be eliminated since life after death seems so uncertain. All of this mirrors aspects of human nature as man has always questioned the meaning of life and the events that occur after. Theoretically, one will never understand the full nature of our
“There’s another. Why may not that be the/ skull of a lawyer? “ (5.1-100-101). He ponders between the physical characteristics and personalities of human life. He essentially thinks who he will be after he dies. After death, one essentially becomes nothing but dust, like the biblical saying, “from ashes to ashes, and dust to dust”. “To what base uses we may return, Horatio!” (5.1.209). Hamlet is often wondering about death, speaking about it, and thinking of the gory images of death. Thinking of it in such a matter, he appears sick. He refers to dead bodies being put in to everyday items.
His rule will lead to the fall of Denmark. Another important point in this quote is that through the metaphor Hamlet sees Denmark as being completely taken over by things that are rank and gross like the corruption of characters like Polonius and Claudius. This passage is very important in Hamlet because it is the first reference to a garden in dismay and more importantly, it references to the horrible condition that Denmark is in.
Throughout the course of the play, Hamlet is also obsessed with the mystery of death. In the beginning of the play, he states that he is unsure where one ends up after they die. Later into the play, he makes a reference to the afterlife contradicting his first approach. When he attempts to kill
In act 3 scene 1 of William Shakespeare “Hamlet” the main protagonist, Hamlet, recites a soliloquy “To be, or not to be.” Throughout his lines Hamlet explains the concept of suicide and why people choose to live long lives instead of ending their suffering. The main point he speaks on is the mystery of one’s afterlife, they never know for sure what happens when they die. For this reason, his speech does a good job highlighting the plays underlying themes of pervasiveness of death, and tragic dilemma, and tragic flaws.
When Hamlet is set up and spied on by Claudius and Polonius, he examines the moral aspect of suicide in a painful world. He opens his soliloquy with asking a simple question, "To be, or not to be:that is the question:" (III. i. 58), that is, whether to live or to die. He then begins to question whether it is nobler to suffer life and the, "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," (III. i. 66), or to take ones life and end one's suffering. He compares death to sleep and at first thinks that
In the first scene of the play the guards of the Kingdom of Denmark are frightened by a ghost that looks similar to the recently deceased King Hamlet. These guards go to Prince Hamlet, the dead king’s son, and report to him their sightings. Very intrigued, and currently grieving over his fathers death, Hamlet decides to watch the next night in order to personally see the ghost. The following night the ghost arrives and summons Hamlet to him. When Hamlet first sees the ghost he is questioning what the ghost actually is and his intentions, “be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned, bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell”. Hamlet is questioning whether this figure is from heaven or hell. This is one of the views of Protestants. There is a spiritual world and a human world. The spiritual world consists of Heaven and Hell, with nothing in
Hamlet does not see a need to live in a world as corrupted as thee, for which the new king Claudius has taken over, and has made life miserable for him. Hamlet questions his belief in G-d, for he does not have a say or choice in anything that occurs. Hamlet continues to live in the "unweeded garden" (135), which he refers to Denmark being a prison, given that Claudius has demanded for him to stay close by his side. Stuck in the town of Denmark, Hamlet does not have the choice to go to college and get an education. Claudius and his mother Gertrude control his boring life, and it leaves Hamlet with nothing to do. Hamlet feels that the mourning of his father by his mother was too short, indicating to Hamlet a false mourn, or simply that she did not care for the death of her husband, the king, for so many years. Hamlet says that his mother moved on so quickly from a Sun G-d to basically a nobody, "So excellent a king, that was to this/ Hyperion to a satyr, so loving to my mother, / That he might not beteem the winds of heaven/ Vist her face too roughly" (139-141). Hamlet thinks of his father as being such a great guy and powerful, and doesn't see how his mother could move on from such a great man, yet to belittle
Early on in Hamlet, a guard slightly mentions that there is “something rotten in the state of Denmark” (Shakespeare, I.iv.90). The tranquility of Denmark is suddenly shattered by Claudius’s marriage to
In the play, Hamlet, Shakespeare leaves you wondering about death. Through the characters in the play, he reveals his own thoughts about death. Does Shakespeare portray a deep understanding of death in this play? The never-ending cycle of death and revenge is evident throughout the entire play.
In William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, it’s clear that the title character, Hamlet, has a relationship with death, that relationship is often misunderstood. Some see him merely as an agent of death, and others believe he retains a lust for it throughout the entire play, inspired by the tragedy he’s experienced. While these interpretations are partially true, they don’t hold true throughout the play. Hamlet has a disdain for the world which makes him desire nothing but to fade away in the beginning of the play, but he develops a respect for fate and the unknown aspects of the afterlife. This respect eventually manifests itself in an attitude of indifference towards death.
Hamlet went from a mourning Prince of Denmark over the death of his father, to a revenge seeking murderer as the play progresses. This transition in character is evident through Hamlets meaning of life; the desire for justice. After the meeting with the ghost, his worldview completely changed to a craving for revenge. In today’s ever changing world, people who act on revenge are no longer socially acceptable. These people who act on revenge often commit mortal sins and heavy crimes and are set to life in prison. Hamlet is the only person to blame for his death because of his worldview. “A villain kills my father, and for that I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven.” (Shakespeare 3.3 76-78) At this point, Hamlet’s worldview is completely based on getting revenge for his father. There is nothing more important in life at the time. Hamlet has just killed Polonius mistaking him as Claudius. Moments later Hamlet is face to face with Claudius, but chooses not to kill him because he wants the worst for him. Hamlet says “ I, his sole son, do this same villain send to
Hamlet is so depressed that he feels life isn't worth living and Shakespeare's death imagery helps us to feel what Hamlet is experiencing because we can actually picture flesh turning to dew. A reader could argue that all this death and gore could be in Hamlet's mind alone until Horatio says, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark (I, IV, 90)." Now we know not only does Hamlet think this, but Horatio does as well. Picture festering carrion as a metaphor for King Hamlet's death and we realize that Horatio's words couldn't be truer. The ghost also makes a horrible reference. He says at the moment of his death, his skin became "Most lazar-like with vile and loathsome crust all my smooth body (I, V, 72)." This passage is exceptionally powerful and you can almost "feel" what death is like, with skin crusting over and open sores flowing with puss, you become like a leper before death takes its toll.
William Shakespeare’s longest play Hamlet, contains many complex concepts and ideas. A main concept that is present through the entire play is the idea of Death. With so many of the characters dying in the play it is impossible to avoid it, but the most interesting development in what death is comes through the main character Hamlet. Hamlet starts the play with one idea of what death is and what will happen after death and how it will affect him. Throughout the play his vision of what death is changes and continues to change until his last breath where he reveals his final thoughts on death.
In Act III, scene I of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the thematic imagery, along with the symbolic use of syntax and diction that Shakespeare uses helps convey Hamlet’s state of mind as troubled and as having a painful view to life which, overall, is subtly expressed with weakness as he talked about death.