In Hamlet, Hamlet grapples with the decision to commit suicide after returning home to find his father dead, his mother remarried, and his uncle on the throne; however, it is essentially his fear of what death may bring that prevents him from taking action. Do we begin living another life? Will that life be better or worse than the one we previously led? Filled with uncertainty, these questions produce distress for Hamlet because answering them is impossible. Hamlet’s struggle with the challenge of answering such questions is best portrayed when he laments, “To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub / For in that sleep of death what dreams may come / When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, / Must give us pause. There’s the respect / That makes calamity of so long life” (3.1.66-70). Within Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, the text signifies death’s alarming quality: it is unpredictable, and for this reason we fear it. By emphasizing the similarities between the unpredictable nature of dreaming and of death, Hamlet creates a metaphor in order to depict the fear that stems from such uncertainty. Just as dreaming may consist of a pleasant fantasy or a horrible nightmare, death has the potential to condemn one to Heaven or Hell. Strictly speaking, we are unable to determine the nature of our dreams, just as we are unable to conclude the aftermath of death. The realization that death is like a final sleep, and therefore an opportunity to dream, ultimately results in
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Hamlet exhibits his insecurity toward death when he lingers on the phrase ' no traveler returns' from death. He is afraid of leaving his earthly life, showing his indecision towards what lies in the afterlife. This indecision carries over into his actions when trying to go through with Claudius' murder. Hesitant to kill Claudius, Hamlets settles on making sure the ghost was correct in his accusation. By employing the players to dramatize the murder of King Hamlet Sr., Hamlet hides behind the façade of the play in order to accuse Claudius. By using the players as his medium for accusation, Hamlet again shows how timid he is to approach the subject of death and confront it face to face. It is seen by Claudius that Hamlet's 'madness' is a direct threat to his security, and Hamlet is shipped off to England. While traveling to his execution, Hamlet again slips out of deaths way before having to directly challenge it. Prior to Hamlet's 'kidnapping', he changes the letter to have it be his escorts execution. This is only appropriate, since Hamlet never is present to see their reaction to facing death, or is there is witness the ending of their lives. Again, Hamlet is able to allude death, by escaping the ship set sail for his execution.
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
Hamlet recognizes that suicide is a sin in the eyes of God, so consequently wishes that he could simply cease to exist. In doubting that life is worth all the hardships one must face, Hamlet briefly relishes in the concept of death, equating it to nothing more than a sleep wherein one can be rid of the “heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks” of physical life (III.i.70). Though immediately thereafter Hamlet acknowledges the startling unknown, and the fact that one does not know what comes after death. Hamlet feels a great deal of uncertainty, which surely enhances his overall frustration. Herein lies Hamlet’s reservations in regards to committing suicide: it is a sin, and the afterlife may prove to be more unpleasant than life itself.
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.
Next, in one of the most famous soliloquies in the English language, Hamlet again contemplates the subject of suicide, but he does not do so on impulses of emotion. Instead, his contemplation is based on reason. “To be or not to be, that is the question: whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer outrageous fortune…or end them. To die, to sleep- no more- and by a sleep to say we end the heartache…’Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time…who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler
In this scene, Hamlet is pondering suicide and also weighing the consequences of his action. He begins to ponder“which is nobler? To suffer life, “[t]he slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” or to seek to end it? As Hamlet considers this question, he realizes that it leads to more questions rather than answers. Hamlet restates his question by stating that the dreams that may come in the sleep of death could be intimidating so much so that they “must give us pause.”
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.
By characterizing the aftereffects of death as dreams, Hamlet creates a metaphor and implies that we all wish to experience that final sleep, but it is the uncertainty of what may come that prevents us from doing so of our own accord. Each night, we close our eyes and take a gamble; our sleep may consist of a pleasant fantasy, a horrible nightmare, or nothing at all. Just as we prepare ourselves for sleep each night, unsure if our impending visions will be those of horror or delight, we ready ourselves for death. However, we voluntarily succumb to sleep with the promise of reawakening, but it is the finality of death that prohibits us from being as willing
Now that the pressure has been lifted, Hamlet has the opportunity to ponder death, something that has demanded his attention since his father's demise. In the famous soliloquy Hamlet attempts to discard the appearance of death to dissect the survival instinct of human beings. Why, when death appears to be the desired escape from "a sea of troubles," do human beings refuse to succumb? (III.1 ln 59) Hamlet quickly grasps the inherent fear of the unknown present in the human psyche. This display of insightquickly disappears once Hamlet again faces emotional pressure. He somewhat maintains his ability to separate reality and appearance, but his intense passions stunt his efforts to remain on a direct course to his goals.
In Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, he contemplates for a while whether to commit suicide. Hamlet’s unhappiness is caused by the people around him. His mother’s actions of marrying her brother-in-law made Hamlet extremely frustrated drawing him out of the right mental state. Meanwhile, his view of his father is godlike, but he distrusts the Ghost enough to think about killing himself instead of pursuing the Ghost’s request. In Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, “to be, or not to be;” he contemplates (3.1). “The Everlasting had not fixed, His cannon ‘gainst self-slaughter!” (1.2). He is uncertain if things would be any better in the afterlife if he were to end his life. Hamlet’s hesitancy, especially concerning suicide, is the cause of his realistic and frightened nature. In this situation, his indecisiveness saves his life, but it also does not allow him to find another solution. Concluding, in his soliloquy he would rather
In this play, Hamlet by Shakespeare, the protagonist, Hamlet, is told by the ghost of his father to get revenge for his death. In order to do this, Hamlet decides to act “crazy” to investigate the suspects involved in the murder, his uncle, mom, Polonius, etc, and to interpret their responses to all of his actions. With all this pressure placed upon him, he contemplates whether he should commit suicide and struggles with himself as to where he will end up, as in heaven or hell, after he has completed his duties to the ghost. In the world, fear has always kept people from doing things that they really wanted to do. Through the theme of fear, Shakespeare explores Hamlet’s internal conflict with the meaning of life in order to further explain how every decision that is made, has a sense of unfamiliarity in the outcome. In society, this type of fear keeps people from taking that leap of faith when making futuristic decisions.
It is clear that the death of his father and his mother 's remarriage has taken an enormous mental toll on him and that he desires death to free himself of the burden laid upon him by the ghost. He romanticizes it, saying that suicide is the brave and courageous option akin to “[taking] arms” against troubles. However, he can’t commit to the idea of death, saying “To sleep, perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub / For in that sleep of death what dreams may come” (III, i, 66-67). He craves death, which would allow him to escape all the “natural shock / that flesh is heir to” (III, i, 63-64) but the more he ponders it, the further he is from reaching a decision. Ironically, the argument within his mind about how he should free himself of the ghostly burden — murder, or death — is impeding him from carrying out any action on it. At the end of his most famous soliloquy, Hamlet hasn’t made any decisive choice and therefore is in limbo regarding death due to his overarching rationale. His inaction proves “[his] endless reasoning and hesitation and the way in which the energy of his resolutions evaporates in self-reproaches” (Morgan 259). Moreover, Hamlet tackles the decision of interpreting what is real and what is false when he questions the ghost’s true nature. At first, Hamlet is certain
In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist, Hamlet is obsessed with the idea of death, and during the course of the play he contemplates death from numerous perspectives. He ponders the physical aspects of death, as seen with Yoricks's skull, his father's ghost, as well as the dead bodies in the cemetery. Hamlet also contemplates the spiritual aspects of the afterlife with his various soliloquies. Emotionally Hamlet is attached to death with the passing of his father and his lover Ophelia. Death surrounds Hamlet, and forces him to consider death from various points of view.
In a following speech Hamlet’s disposition towards the world persists, yet his attitude towards death has undergone a transformation. Previously, Hamlet was quick to proclaim his desire to die, but by the third act he’s become uncertain. This hesitation becomes apparent in Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech (3.1.56-90). With those opening words, Hamlet debates whether he should exist or not. The fact that this is still a question for him shows that he continues to be displeased with life. Hamlet asks himself, “Whether ‘tis 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? To die to sleep.” This reveals a new concern that Hamlet has, he doesn’t ask what is best for him to do, but rather what is nobler, which makes it apparent that he’s concerned with maintaining his character. Even though he maintains the desire to escape the world and the experience in it, he still cares about the image that he leaves behind. Subsequently, Hamlet uses war-like diction, comparing life to war with “slings and arrows” which makes life intolerable. This just reaffirms the ideas Hamlet has had throughout the play, however, a shift transpires when he mulls over the idea that death is like being asleep. A problem arises when he realizes that even when you sleep you experience, “To sleep; perchance to dream: Ay, there’s the rub.” This could be easily misinterpreted as Hamlet hoping to dream, but perchance
To die, to sleep--/ To sleep,” (lines 5-10). This portion of the soliloquy expresses that Hamlet views death as something full of pleasure, especially with Shakespeare’s use in the word “consummation,” which means to complete, or sex, thus proving Hamlet’s opposition to life because he welcomes death with a pleasurable imagery. Shakespeare’s use of repetition of “to die, to sleep,” throughout this soliloquy expresses Hamlets want for death. “To say we end/ The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks/ That flesh is heir to,” truly depicts the emphasis that Hamlet has on the finality of death and it shows that he wanted it, but it can also convey confusion in Hamlet since he expresses this finality with this descriptive physical imagery. “For who would bear the whips and scorns of time.” (Line 15.) This is a question to mankind that Hamlet asks, but it also conveys his state of mind perfectly because the imagery articulates the pain and torture Hamlet’s character is dealing with since he views life in that way. The beginning of madness, which is another theme in Hamlet, can be represented with this soliloquy due to these feelings that Shakespeare conveys Hamlet of having towards death.