Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s plays that convey elements of mistrust, instability, cheating and self interest as the major problems in the society. These issues pervade all aspects of life in any society as portrayed in the play. This study therefore seeks to highlight various issues in the play.
A state of instability is created in the play by the occurrence of certain events and behaviors of particular characters. The setting of the whole play represents an element of political instability that is marked by the death of the King. Shakespeare also uses Hamlet to convey a situation of instability in soul and thoughts. For instance, Hamlet is not ready to accept the death of his father even as friends and family try to console him. The issue of death has also been used to create uncertainly in the setting of the play.
Roles of the Ghost
On literal basis, the role of the ghost in the play is to awoke the interest of the audience towards the play and provide more opportunities for further narration of the play. However, in a the critical perspective, the ghost has been used to portray the role of the dead in their quest to accomplish intended objectives. The ghost is also used to highlight the disparity in belief between different characters, for instance, characters such as Marcellus, Barnardo and Francisco believed in the existence of the ghost while Horatio did not believe in the spiritual world.
Hamlet’s behaviors, especially with regards to his relationship with Ophelia, have greatly contributed to Ophelia’s madness. Hamlet is not ready to propose a marriage arrangement to Ophelia who has been eagerly waiting for the proposal. Ophelia is surprised when Hamlet says that he is not interested in getting married.
Hamlet is portrayed as an individual who is slow in making decisions and taking actions, for instance, Hamlet is not ready to avenge of the death of his father after he discovered that the father was murdered by his uncle. Hamlet also despites marriage between his mother and his uncle, but he is not ready to take necessary actions to stop that marriage.
Definition of Hamlet
Different characters in the play contribute to the definition of Hamlet in different perspectives; for example, according to Horatio; Hamlet can be defined as an individual who likes tranquility. Laertes, on the other hand, portrays Hamlet as a character who is not overwhelmed by his sexual desires, but he is not a committed lover. Even though Ophelia is deeply in love with Hamlet, she does not get special treatments that woman would expect from her love. In the play, Fortinbras is a complete contrast to Hamlet, especially with regards to decision making and taking actions. Fortinbras is a character who is guided by his actions rather than thoughts, for instance, he is ready to risk his life for a piece of land that he conquered in Denmark. Claudius defines Hamlet as a person who is very emotional and does not accept the role of death in influencing change.
Shakespeare presented the rotten word in the play to depict an image of moral decay and corruption in society. A good example of moral decay is exhibited by the Queen who decides to marry Polonius only three months after the death of her husband. Polonius’ reign as the King of Denmark is marked by corruption and other malpractices. The murder of Hamlet’s father by Polonius also portrays a rotten state of Denmark’s social and political condition.
Hamlet’s personality, in the scenes where he interacts with the ghost, is portrayed as a person with good listening skills as he gives keen attention to the words spoken by the ghost, moreover, the two scenes portray Hamlet as an individual who is willing and ready to revenge the death of his father. Hamlet is furious after learning from the ghost that his uncle, Polonius, killed his father.
Hamlet’s Third Soliloquy
The third soliloquy reveals Hamlet’s resolution to act on the problems that affect him. As indicated by Hamlet, it is better to find solutions to problems rather than do nothing. Hamlet, therefore, advises the audience to act whenever they faced problems in life. The soliloquy is advice that Hamlet gives to the audience on how to solve different problems in life.
Hamlet’s Last Speech on Death
Hamlet’s last speech on death is used by Shakespeare to create an element of transition. The speech reveals that from life the next stage in the transition is death, however, the issue of death is feared by many people in the society and invisible beings such as ghosts tend to increase the intensity of fear.
Understanding Life and Death
The statements made by Hamlet to Horatio reveals that death is inevitable as every human being will die regardless of social status in the society. Hamlet also indicates that everything that claims its beginning from life must end through death. At this juncture, Hamlet also prepares himself for his death as he plans the duel between him and Laertes.