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Fear Is Fate

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By rellik
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Fear is Fate
For many people, death is the source of an all-consuming - if abstract - terror. The manner in which an individual deals with this fear is often a reflection of their ability to accept their ultimate fate. Oftentimes, an individual's inability to cope with the idea of death leaves them filled with a profound sorrow, and leads to a great deal of suffering. The sociable nature of our society makes death particularly difficult to handle: society expects us to "deal with" death and to return to normal activities relatively quickly, and looks down upon those who cannot achieve this. People respond to death in a wide variety of ways, ranging from grief, to rage, to deep depression bordering on insanity. It is this last response that the public views least favorably. In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, the titular protagonist has difficulty accepting the death of his father, and many of the coping mechanisms that he employs are still seen by individuals forced to deal with death in modern society.
Hamlet's struggle with his father's death is the primary mechanism behind his inability to fall in line with the dictates of society. Hamlet is raised by his mother and father, the King and Queen of Denmark. As a child, Hamlet is relatively sheltered from death, and it is this unfamiliarity that leaves him unable to cope with it as an adult, when his world is shattered by the murder of his father. Initially, Hamlet does not know the cause behind his father's passing, but his father's ghost later reveals that he was murdered. When Hamlet learns that his father was killed by his brother, Claudius, he cries out, "O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain" (1.5.106). Claudius, it seems, intended to marry Queen Gertrude and be crowned King of Denmark in his brother's stead. Once Hamlet discovers the reason behind his father's death, his sense of betrayal only increases...

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