William Shakespeare 's Hamlet - Deciding Fate

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TJ Haessig
Mr. Dranginis
Advanced Poetry
Deciding Fate In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet is a prince, who has been tasked to avenge his murdered father. As the ghost of his dead father assigns him this deed, Hamlet assumes it is now his fate to murder the king and cut the corruption out of the kingdom. As the play progresses, Hamlet does not actively attempt to assassinate the King, revealing his hope that he has free-will in the matter. Near the end of the play, Hamlet experiences a transformation, believing that fate in inevitable. Yet, his actions tell otherwise, as he still hesitates to murder the King. Conveniently, Hamlet is then poisoned. With nothing left and Hamlet believing fate must play it’s course, he ends the King’s
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As the play progresses, Hamlet’s actions tell he actively attempts to escape his self-proclaimed fate. Suspicions rise that Hamlet tests his free-will when he is inactive to plot the murder of his father. Instead, he develops a play to prove that the King is guilty, yet the play’s only effect is such, which does not bring Claudius closer to death. Finally, Hamlet has a chance to assassinate Claudius, but hesitates, believing that since the King is praying, he will go to heaven. This thought process and decision making demonstrates his attempt at free will. Hamlet’s assignment is solely to kill Claudius, yet his own thoughts get in the way, needing Claudius to waste away in hell and not heaven. In addition, when Claudius wishes to send Hamlet to England, he enthusiastically responds “For England!” (4.3.52), accepting being sent away, even though his mission is to kill Claudius, who resides in Denmark. In that instance, Hamlet is content with being shipped away, as he hopes to prolong his fate, hoping free-will will win over. Near the end of the play, Hamlet’s words contradict his actions, regarding fate versus free-will, yet when he is poisoned his belief in fate is reassured. Throughout the middle of the play, Hamlet scarcely mentions fate, leaving speculation to whether he follows it. Then, right before he fights Laertes, Hamlet voices his thoughts, saying, “We defy augury…If it be/ now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be/ now; if it be not now, yet
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