Premium Essay

Death in Hamlet

In: English and Literature

Submitted By guero5994
Words 578
Pages 3
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...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Deaths Progression in Hamlet

...Deaths Progression in Hamlet “Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death the memory be green, and that it us befitted to bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom. To be contracted in one brow of woe, yet so far hath discretion fought with nature. That we with wisest sorrow think on him, together with remembrance of ourselves.” (Shakespeare, Hamlet 1.2.1) Claudius (the current king of Denmark and husband of his dead brother’s wife Gertrude) here states that it is befitted for the whole kingdom to mourn Hamlet Sr.’s death. Although he is saying that it is okay to mourn his death, he is also stating that it is wise for the entire kingdom to move on from this quickly. By saying this, Claudius is trying to cover up the murder of Hamlet Sr., and make it seem like it never happened. Claudius is guilty for this, and that is why he has decided to try his best to make everyone in the kingdom forget about the death so he doesn’t get caught. Hamlet is a magnificent tragedy that is full of betrayal, revenge and a lot of revengeful death. Written by William Shakespeare, Hamlet takes place in England in the year of 1602. After his father dies, Hamlet’s life becomes more troubled because of the deaths of many of the people in his life that followed. He goes insane, which could very well be Hamlet’s cover up for showing his true feelings about his father’s death. The nature and progression of death in Hamlet is a large theme that overpowers many of the characters within the play. ......

Words: 1106 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Death In Hamlet Essay

...Imminent Death (An analysis of the theme of death in the fifth act of Hamlet) Death, no one likes to hear the word, but none of us can escape it. The death of someone or even ourselves is all a part of the life that we live. It is impossible to avoid death when the time has come. In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet¬ there is much death throughout the play. The play itself starts out with the knowing of the death of the King, Hamlet’s father. Throughout the play more and more characters die in their own way. In act five of Hamlet death appears in three different ways: through suicide, through accidents, and through revenge. Initially, the first way death appears in act five is suicide. In the beginning of the fifth act the two grave-diggers are digging the grave of the once love of Hamlet, Ophelia. They are talking whether or not she is being buried in the right place or not. “Is she to be buried in...

Words: 778 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Death And Mortality In Hamlet

...In Hamlet the death and mortality rate are the same as the time the play was written in. When people in Elizabeth England, were dying due to black plague, small pox, and syphilis. These three diseases were the major reasons for Elizabethan people’s death. As Shakespeare’s’ death was a mystery. These diseases may have played a role in this patriarch. He has written amazing plays such as hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. With all these plays, they all have the same death and mortality rate. As the death and mortality is in all three plays. There is also a sense of madness in Hamlet and Macbeth. Madness, as well as syphilis were all counted as “Diseases.” A large number of people were affected by these diseases. In this time period people...

Words: 269 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Death In Hamlet Research Paper

...Hamlet’s plan, struggle, and inevitable death Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a very controversial story of how the entire royal family of Denmark was wiped out. Hamlet is doomed to die, but in his death Denmark would be purged of its evil. Through murderous plots and schemes, it is revealed that King Hamlet’s brother Claudius murdered him. Hamlet is the son of the late King Hamlet, he was supposed to be the next king, but Claudius quickly married Hamlet’s Mother to take the crown. During the play, it is shown why Hamlet is a considered a revenge tragedy. Throughout the play Hamlet’s view of death prevents him from taking action, but through accepting his fate he is able to finally kill his uncle, without thinking about his death. After Hamlet meets...

Words: 1871 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Essay On Ophelia's Death In Hamlet

...garmets, heavy with their drink, pulld (ing) the poor wretch from her melodious lay to muddy death” (Hamlet IV.7.166-183). As the river engulfed her body and pressed her down to the bottom, her father and Hamlet were filling her with madness to the point of breaking. Her father dressed her in the court garmets that weighed her down and forced her to be apart of the court. She was never meant to be apart of the court and...

Words: 428 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Death and Dying in Hamlet and the Winter’s Tale

...“Of Deaths Put on by Cunning and Forced Cause” – Death and Dying in Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale Abstract Shakespeare employs the concept of death in every genre he writes, and Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale provide insights into the revenge tragedy and late romance respectively. Drawing inspiration from a web article on death in revenge tragedies (namely, Hamlet), death seems to me the common emotional connector between Hamlet and the audience, which Shakespeare then exploits to enact a singular catharsis. Similarly, a dissertation on counterfeit deaths in the late romances and a web article on resurrection in The Winter’s Tale provide me the basis to argue that death and resurrection are successively utilized in the romance to draw a self-awakening in Leontes, which Shakespeare uses as a proxy for the audience. It is intriguing how Shakespeare employs death as emotional bridge between audience and characters across the two genres, creating the heightened emotional state necessary to deliver his concluding catharsis: death as redemption when not used as a tool for personal gain. Death appears many times in both Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale, serving to drive both the action of the play as well as the development of characters. In Hamlet, it is the murder of Old Hamlet that necessitates the act of vengeance, forcing into motion all subsequent plot developments and character deaths. According to Thomas, “The Winter’s Tale is structured on the counterfeit deaths and......

Words: 2198 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Was Hamlet Responsible For Ophelia's Death

...The characters in Hamlet caused their own death. Ophelia was responsible for her own death. Hamlet was responsible for his own death because he was irresponsible. Claudius's manipulation and lying brought his own premature death upon himeself costing him his life. Many people feel that, the characters were not at fault for their own deaths. This may be the case; however, it lacks all the evidence. The people in Hamlet are responsible for their own deaths. Polonius was responsible for his own death. When Polonius gets stabbed by Hamlet, "My lord, he's going to his mother's closet. Behind the arras I''ll convery myself To hear the process," (III. iii. 27-29). Polonius is spying on Hamlet for Claudius and Polonius gets killed. This is Polonius's fault because it was not Polonius's business. Other characters in the play have chracter flaws that lead to their deaths....

Words: 642 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

To What Extent Is Death a Driving Force of Hamlet

...Whether death is a constant presence in Hamlet or not – one thing is for certain – death, or whatever it is supposed to represent permeates the play right from the opening scene, where the ghost of Hamlet’s father introduces the idea of death and its consequences. The ghost represents a disruption to the accepted social order – a theme also reflected in the volatile socio-political state of Denmark and Hamlet’s own indecision. This disorder has of course been triggered by the "unnatural death" of Denmark's figurehead, the King, and is soon followed by a whole range of murder, suicide, revenge and accidental deaths. Hamlet is above all a story of individuality – and the search for it. This is why Yorick’s skull is so pivotal to the whole story. Previously, Hamlet has been appalled and revolted by the moral corruption of the living. Seeing Yorick's skull (someone Hamlet clearly loved and respected ‘I knew him, Horatio’ ‘fellow of infinite jest’ ‘how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises’) propels Hamlet's realisation that death eliminates the differences between people. His questioning of ‘Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment’ are a manifestation of his realisation. This, once hilarious, loving person is a conglomeration of bones. It is also difficult to not notice the sudden shift in age as important. When the play begins, Hamlet is a university student, and therefore presumable 18 to 25. By the time Hamlet makes it to......

Words: 1505 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

How Does Shakespeare Present Death In Hamlet uncover the meaning of Hamlet’s melancholy behavior. In Hamlet’s notorious “to be or not to be” soliloquy, Hamlet contemplates two extremes: life and death. For the first time in the play, Hamlet acknowledges his own feelings about avenging his father’s murder. Hamlet’s emotions are raw. He is stripped from being the Prince of Denmark and turns into a grieving son. It shows Hamlet in a humane light. Hamlet is conflicted as he wants to do right by his father and also do right by his own moral code.We can all relate in some aspect of wanting to do right by ourselves and also wanting to do right by others. Although Hamlet wants to kill Claudius, Hamlet is terrified...

Words: 626 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

How Does Shakespeare Present Ophelia's Death In Hamlet

...been quite as much death leading into the fifth and finally act of the play Hamlet. There have been three deaths thus far, and only one was  by Hamlet’s hands. During the first act we are told just recently Hamlet’s dad, the king, was murdered by Claudius. Claudius then marries Hamlet’s mother and becomes king. Later in the third act, Hamlet thinks that it’s Claudius behind the curtain spying on him stabs blindly only to find out that it was in fact Polonius. Then, late in act four, Ophelia, Hamlet’s girl, drowns herself because she believe everyone in her life has left her. By act five in Macbeth, Macbeth had already killed six people. Leading into the final act, Shakespeare had set up the feeling...

Words: 904 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

King Claudius's Fatal Death In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

...In ending to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I was a little disappointed about each of the main character's fatal death. Shakespeare made the play predictable in many ways by dropping different hints throughout the tragedy. King Claudius was a deceitful opportunist who killed his own brother for kingship and married his former sister-in-law Gertrude. In my beliefs, this is where karma will come into play. Even hamlet himself, was driven by both vengeance and his inability to act as guilty like the others characters. The way that Prince Hamlet behaved played a significant part in the deaths of Ophelia, Rosencratz, and Goldenstein. Each character in the play lacked the moral structure that only lead to their fatal deaths. In the case of Hamlet, I’ve notice...

Words: 297 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Hamlet's Ghost/ Influencing Obsessions

...Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the ghost of the late King Hamlet has influenced his son to become obsessed with the idea of death. When young Hamlet is informed of the ghost’s sighting, he is anxious and curious to find out who this ghost is and what news it has to deliver. After the ghost reveals himself as Hamlet’s deceased father, Hamlet’s curiosity increases. The ghost divulges to Hamlet that his brother, Claudius, poisoned him to take his life as well as his throne, which infuriates young Hamlet. After this shocking revelation, Hamlet becomes obsessed with thoughts of death and avenging his father’s murder, which contributes to his insanity. When Hamlet speaks to his father’s ghost, his father insists that Hamlet avenge his death by killing Claudius. The ghost explains to his son that King Claudius has corrupted the nation of Denmark, has robbed him of his own life, and therefore, achieving revenge is crucial. After conversing with the ghost, Hamlet vows to seek vengeance on Claudius. This “seeking” of vengeance very quickly turns into an obsession. Hamlet’s every thought seems to revolve around his plot to kill Claudius, causing friends and family to express concern over his strange behaviors. Rumors begin to travel around Denmark that Hamlet has “gone mad,” while Hamlet claims to only be feigning his insanity. Hamlet’s soliloquy where he contemplates suicide is one example of his obsession with death. Amidst the stresses of planning Claudius’ murder, Hamlet even......

Words: 1731 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Hamlet Essay + Themes

...Hamlet Final Essay What do you think makes Shakespeare’s Hamlet such a powerful and enduring play? Thesis William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1603) explores the intrinsic aspects of humanity creating a powerful and enduring play by subverting the audiences’ expectation of a revenge tragedy play. Shakespeare enables universal anthropological appreciation through the emphasis on the thematic concerns of: the mystery and transcendental nature of death, clouded grey areas in between the dichotomy of good and evil morals, and the twisted manipulative nature of human behaviour. Therefore, through critical study of the play, Shakespeare augments and connects to the audience’s perspective and interpretations. Body Topic sentence 1. Overarching idea i. Point ii. Quote iii. Technique iv. Elaboration Sample Sentence Linking sentence (concluding sentence) Body 1 – Death Death is the inescapable reality of human life as explored in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the fact that the living world is made of death and decay is visible anywhere there is life. 1. Hamlet’s bereavement over his father i. Bereavement is an inescapable reality in which all humans must endure. ii. “But I have more within which passes show – These but the trappings and the suits of woe” iii. Rhyming couplet iv. To reinforce Hamlet’s underlying argument to his grief over the finality of his father’s death. Bereavement is an inescapable reality, exemplified when Hamlet......

Words: 2776 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

English Term Paper Hamlet Hamlet: Prince of Denmark. The play is begun with the death of Hamlet’s father, which Hamlet finds to be unsettling from the start. Hamlet’s uncle Claudius then takes over the throne while Hamlet’s mother then marries his uncle. It is then that the ghost of his father, tells Hamlet that the very man who had become king murdered him in cold blood; the ghost brings the idea of revenge to Hamlet’s mind (Shakespeare 1547). While revenge is constantly on his mind throughout the play, there is also the idea that Hamlet must forgive those who have done wrongs to him or his family; this is shown through his dedication to religion. But in the end, Hamlet’s internal need to seek revenge for his father’s death is so great that he is ultimately unable to forgive his uncle. The play begins with the sudden death of Hamlet’s father, and his uncle Claudius, his father’s brother, taking the throne (Shakespeare 1550). Hamlet’s mother chooses to marry Claudius just days after the death of Hamlet’s father, and Prince Hamlet expresses his disgust through his soliloquies, where he exclaims, “Frailty, thy name is woman!” (Shakespeare 1553). After some time, Hamlet is brought out to a forest by two guards who have claimed to see the ghost of his father. After some deliberation, the ghost of Hamlet’s father does indeed appear and tells Hamlet that Hamlet’s uncle Claudius, the current king of Denmark, murdered him. Hamlet’s father tells him that he must avenge his death, but Prince Hamlet can......

Words: 1396 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Sanely Ingenius or Genuinely Isane?

...In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the protagonist, Hamlet, leads an antic disposition that causes his downfall and leads him to insanity. The cause of his insanity was quickly developed at the beginning when the sudden death of his father, King Hamlet, was announced to him. The tragic Hamlet plotted to murder his father’s murderer, thus the act of madness was introduced. His antic disposition affects his judgment, destroys relationships and creates a belief that he is truly mad. Throughout the play, Hamlet is consumed with anger of his father’s death which causes him to act through emotion and without reason, thus affecting his judgement. Hamlet’s main goal is to avenge the death of his father. His actions to do so are hindered because of the irrational decisions he has made through the antic disposition he has put on that has finally led to his misguided judgement. Hamlet’s irrational decisions began after the death of his father. As any normal human being would be allowed to grieve, Hamlet was not, he was expected to accept the death of his father and move on. “Do not for ever with thy vailed lids, Seek for thy noble father in the dust. Thou know'st 'tis common. All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity.” (Act 1, Scene 2. 69-74) These lines spoken by the Queen, Hamlet’s mother, are proof that Hamlet is obliged to accept his father’s death. With little time to grieve and a mother that seems to care less about her deceased husband, Hamlet’s mind was given......

Words: 1495 - Pages: 6