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Death in Hamlet

In: English and Literature

Submitted By guero5994
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Death in Hamlet Ideas and beliefs surround the mystery of death, which fills the story of Hamlet. Ever since the first scene, we are thrown into a world in which the line between life and death has become very thin. As one of the first characters we are introduced to is the Ghost of the former King of Denmark, Hamlet’s father. In the first scene, a meeting with the dead is come about, although Horatio, Bernardo and Marcellus are afraid by the Ghost as he appears. They are blown with curiosity and want to know why he has reappeared in the living world, “Stay! Speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!” (1.1.65). This curiosity is passed on to the audience and brings them into a wondering with the death of the King that sets the tone for the rest of the play. Hamlet is one of the characters that is consumed with the idea of death after the death of his father. He is driven by the knowledge that he will someday also be perished, and this death is what forces Hamlet to set revenge. In perhaps his most famous speech, “To be or not to be,” Hamlet introduces the question on what the difference is between living and dying and what the point is. Hamlet is not disturbed by his father’s death, but how his mother has gotten over it so quickly, because he is afraid if someone could get over someone’s death like that, then life has no meaning what so ever. Death imagery really sticks the theme of death in the audiences mind throughout the play. The word”rank” shows up constantly in Hamlet’s descriptions of both the world and his mother’s relationship with Claudius. “Things rank and gross in nature possess it merely” (1.2.134-136) and “In the rank sweat of an un-seamed bed” (3.4.92) are examples. It gives itself the idea again of death imagery surrounding Hamlet. Some more obvious death imagery is very clear throughout the play. For example, when Hamlet discusses where Polonius’s...

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