Loss of Innocence in Hamlet Essay

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Loss of Innocence in Hamlet

Hamlet is a character that we love to read about and analyze. His character is so realistic, and he is so romantic and idealistic that it is hard not to like him. He is the typical young scholar facing the harsh reality of the real world. In this play, Hamlet has come to a time in his life where he has to see things as they really are. Hamlet is an initiation story. Mordecai Marcus states "some initiations take their protagonists across a threshold of maturity and understanding but leave them enmeshed in a struggle for certainty"(234). And this is what happens to Hamlet.

Although Hamlet is a little old to have this experience of coming to be a man, we have to realize that his
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This event along with everything else that he is dealing with is the threshold for Hamlet that he must cross. To cross this threshold Hamlet has to make a decision. Dealing with the process of making and actually making this decision lead Hamlet into his manhood. Hamlet has idealized his father and what Hamlet has learned about his father in the ghost scene shakes his fragile equilibrium. He learns all at one time that his uncle has killed his father, and that his father is not the person that he thought he was. This is a blow for any young adult. Hamlet is now having to deal with the fact that everything that he has believed to be true, just is not so.

Hamlet has also idealized his mother, and it seems like that they have had a close relationship before this incident. Hamlet really loved his mother, and I think he put her on a pedestal. In the play, this delusion that he has about his mother's character is quickly shattered. She, "within a month" (1,2,145) marries Hamlet's uncle who has for some odd reason become king after Hamlet's father's death. Hamlet is sickened and disillusioned by his mother's behavior saying things like "O that this too too sullied flesh would melt" (1,2,129) and "frailty, thy name is woman"(1,2,146). But the realization that he has about his mother also ties into the realization that he has about his father and ultimately
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