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Internal Struggle And Interaction In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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William Shakespeare’s Hamlet features the themes of internal struggles and inaction. The protagonist, Hamlet, seeks to avenge his father’s murder, yet his fear of the unknowns of the afterlife prevents him from doing so. Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, commits atrocities to gain power, tainting his soul with sin. Claudius reveals to the audience that he seeks repentance, yet cannot seem to change his ways and give up his power for God’s forgiveness. At certain times in the play these characters can be classified as either transients or travelers. Transients in Hamlet believe that life is quickly slipping away, and hold the materialistic belief that it is not worth sacrificing the palpable aspects of life on Earth to gain benefits in the major unknown of the afterlife. In contrast, travelers in the play accept the afterlife, knowing that it is part of a larger journey and understanding that destiny controls one’s…show more content…
Hamlet’s transient mindset makes him fear both the unknown of the afterlife and losing the control he holds on Earth, fears that leads him to inaction. Although King Hamlet’s ghost has given Hamlet clear instructions on avenging the ghost’s murder, Hamlet lacks the conviction to kill his uncle. The ensuing internal struggle consumes him, to the point where he contemplates suicide as an escape, wondering if it is “nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles / And by opposing end them” (3.1.57-60). He is therefore left with two courses of action: to either commit a sin by murdering his uncle or commit a sin by ending his own life. During his soliloquy in Act Three, Hamlet explores the religious ramifications of these choices. The “dread of something after death, / The undiscovered country, from whose bourn / No traveler returns” instills in him a transient fear of the afterlife
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