Why Hamlet Needs To Die

2506 WordsJun 18, 201811 Pages
Hamlet's view of death morphs through the course of the play as he is faced with various problems and troubles that force him to deal with life differently. This holds particular significance for a modern audience who, unlike the predominately Christian audiences of Shakespeare's time, contains an assortment of perspectives on the subject. For the majority of the play, Hamlet yearns for death, but there are different tones to his yearning as he confronts death in different circumstances; from his encounter with his father's ghost to the discovery of his beloved Ophelia dead in the ground, Hamlet feels an irrepressible urge to end his life. There are obstacles that get in his way, both internal and external, and Shakespeare's play is an…show more content…
By behaving provocatively (crazy) and exposing his uncle's perfidy, Hamlet hopes to drive his uncle murderous once again, so that he can kill him and die a hero. It is ironic that Hamlet uses retribution against his father's death as the means to reach his own death. His attitude toward the concept of death at this point is split; he behaves as though his father's death is a bad thing, yet he seems dead-set (pardon the pun) on bringing on his own death through his bizarre and provocative antics. Hamlet's antics climax with the visiting players putting on a performance of The Murder of Gonzago, which Hamlet designs in order to "catch the conscience of the king" (2.2.610). Unfortunately, it succeeds too well, and Hamlet finds his uncle alone and penitent, and thus unfit to send to Hell. This seems a peculiar deviation from the Hamlet earlier in the play who abides by the Christian code against suicide; in desiring not only his uncle's death, but his damnation as well, Hamlet takes on a decidedly evil and soulless countenance. One might argue that it is his father's ghost who imbues this diabolical edge to Hamlet, that Hamlet's face-to-face experience with the grave has tainted his spirit (Gottschalk 156). Or, one might also reason that Hamlet's continual fixation on death, suicide, the dark and morbid
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