Hamlet: The Bewildering Human Condition Essay

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Shakespeare’s play Hamlet is a complex and ambiguous public exploration of key human experiences surrounding the aspects of revenge, betrayal and corruption. The Elizabethan play is focused centrally on the ghost’s reoccurring appearance as a symbol of death and disruption to the chain of being in the state of Denmark. The imagery of death and uncertainty has a direct impact on Hamlet’s state of mind as he struggles to search for the truth on his quest for revenge as he switches between his two incompatible values of his Christian codes of honour and humanist beliefs which come into direct conflict. The deterioration of the diseased state is aligned with his detached relationship with all women as a result of Gertrude’s betrayal to King …show more content…
Hamlet explores the progression of an individual’s self-destruction in the quest to restore order to a corrupted state reinforced by the reoccurring motif of the ghost as a sign to reconcile his incompatible value system, thus inadvertently changing the dynamics of Hamlet’s relationship with women. The Ghost talks like a Christian, telling his son there is judgment after death as he is suffering in purgatory. However his demands contradict Christian values as to “sweep to my revenge” would send his son to hell if obeyed. In Hamlet’s first soliloquy, ‘O that this too too solid flesh would melt’, his suicidal and melancholy thoughts are immediately revealed to the audience. He feels his flesh is ‘too solid’, the repetition demonstrating his frustration, and his wish to disintegrate and metaphorically “melt” into the substance of water. Hamlet even regrets that his Christian religion and god had not “fixed/his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter”, a heretical thought in the Elizabethan era, one that would have shocked his contemporary audience as suicide equalled eternal damnation. The motif of decay is introduced in this soliloquy as Hamlet is disillusioned with his world, for it is metaphorically an “unweeded garden/ that grows the seed, things rank and gross in nature/ possess it merely.” The reoccurring imagery of disease

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