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William Shakespeare’s work of Hamlet

There are many elements held within William Shakespeare’s work of Hamlet that are consistent with drama, and support themes of justice, loyalty and love. Apart from these there are other aspects of the character too. It has often been said that `Hamlet relies on three different kinds of knowledge to help guide his action: spiritual, contemplative (or, reflective), and artistic (specifically, that of drama)’. Hamlet is also an expression of compassion and understanding, a profession of honor and faith in the existence of friendship, camaraderie, love and justice.

Hamlet reveals that friendship exists in the idea that regardless of whether or not they all would believe what one would say, they all believe that the experience affected the comrade in some form and would prove sympathetic toward their emotional state. It can be stated that Hamlet’s reliance on spiritual knowledge or awareness that helps him guide his specific actions in the play is comparatively inconclusive in the context of action taken. However, we do find him delivering dialogues that indicates that he is deeply dependent on spiritual knowledge for his actions when he states that “His canon ’gainst self-slaughter!

O God! O God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! ” (Shakespeare, 24) It is quite logical to believe that in this context a person like Hamlet, who is a prince and got an amount of followers, would try to kill Claudius immediately. But he acts as if he is incapable and powerless. Hamlet really reminds us of modern day intellectuals who are confined by the rules of market economy and are thus helpless to act against the government induced market ever if the flaws of the government is identifiable.

In the same context Hamlet appears inactive to us. This is in reality could be enumerated as an intellectual’s dilemma. Again, during the communication with the Ghost he mentions that “Haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift As meditation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge. ” (Shakespeare, 41) Hamlet shows his fear, his anger, and his pain at the knowledge that his mother would betray his father’s memory in such fashion. He then shows his madness as the ghost of his father appears and he would hear truly what would be said, if heard nowhere but in his own mind.

The spirit of what should have been upon the murder of his father, which wrought havoc, fear and pain throughout. Hamlet appears mad in his raving, in his actions upon the murder of his uncle; yet, he sees only the betrayal of his father’s love for his mother in the actions his mother employs. He is dependent on the spirituality for knowledge but that hardly translates into direct action rather he plays the waiting game. In sharp contrast the significance of his reliance on contemplative or reflective knowledge or awareness helps him and guides his action that he is able to employ and this is the waiting game.

Hamlet is not entirely without support. Honor and loyalty are expressed continually as Horatio, Marcellus, Francisco and Bernardo as they discuss the ghostly form of the king. The four mirror the expressions of the king, Hamlet’s brother, and the queen as well. Here is a person, surrounded by friends and in need if action, talks of philosophy when presented with evidence of political wrong doings. “Let us go in together; And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.

The time is out of joint:–O cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it right! – Nay, come, let’s go together. ” (Shakespeare, 47) But in a way this notion of Hamlet in relation to the understanding of the circumstances or contemplative or reflective knowledge could also be narrated as practical sense. Hamlet is such a character who reveals less and hides more in the context of psychology or psycho analysis. This subject is sometimes pragmatic and erratic while at times he is found to be melancholic and depressed.

It can well be stated that in spite of friends Hamlet finds no one to depend on in the context of fighting against the authoritative military force of the King, his uncle. As a result he chooses his mother for support even though he knows that his mother was unfaithful towards his father and has married the man, his uncle, who has killed his father. This proves his inactivity and weakness and inability to move along with his personal vendetta but shows his sense of practicality too that has been acquired from his contemplative or reflective knowledge or awareness.

No wonder he utters in public that “O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams” (Shakespeare, 63) but keeps himself preparing for the revenge. Another aspect of Hamlet is his sense of drama in his behavioral attitudes. One significant behavioral exploit of Hamlet is the rejection of his long lasting fiance Ophelia. The dramatic turns and the expressions of justice, love, and loyalty are threaded throughout in the actions of the guards, the king, Hamlet and others.

The sense of honor, no matter how far beyond the death of his father, would be evident in his passionate plea toward his mother to consider the actions she would take as being betrayal upon allowing another in her bed. You sense his fear for the same condition to be found should he ever consider marriage to the woman that loves him, Ophelia. Ophelia, as can be heard in her words, adores Hamlet, yet she fears his moods, his anger and his reaction to the emotions that have come into existence in the death of the king and the appearance of the ghost he sees, hears and understands.

The fact that he sees ghosts, and would hear the words spoken would in fact strike fear in the hearts of Hamlet’s family, his friends and his colleagues. The emotions are palpable throughout the play in its dramatic twists and turns. The situation would certainly be defined as a result of sexual rejection where Hamlet is found to be exploiting Ophelia sexually by rejecting her and thereby enjoying a revenge of the situation in an alternate manner of sexuality. This could be analyzed as a result of depression that came out of a definite sense of helplessness.

In this situation Hamlet finds himself cramped within circumstances where he is wailing for revenge for the desperation and negligence of his father by his mother, but tends to detach from any direct act of action against her or against the kinsmen who failed to recognize his actual presence as a prince under political pressure due to fear and lack of strength. Further more he tries to seek solace within the principals where he rejects himself from working out any movement with the help of his companions against the king because according to him it would prove to be act against the country.

However as the situation demanded action Hamlet’s explosion of emotion came in the direction of Ophelia and with his rejection towards her, though for a momentary lapse of reason, satisfies the inbuilt eagerness of action within Hamlet. The end result of all these factors ended in a dramatic culmination that was not need or could have been easily avoided. Consider this dialogue by Hamlet when he says to Ophelia that “O, your only jig-maker! What should a man do but be merry? ” (Shakespeare, 86) it is not just an act of rage but presenting his annoyance with a huge amount of drama involved.

But Hamlet is always late in action. As if something is holding him back. It is not that he is planning revenge and he is extremely careful in planning it. He is afraid. This is fear. Fear of loosing what already he has not lost. One can hear the fear in the words spoken in the first act by the four guards as they change places in the night and day after sighting the ghostly form. The fact that the ghost would be sighted, feared and then revered all at the same time would be quite the intriguing dramatic formula.

Hamlet, the young son of the king and queen, have brought forward in the second act a bit of playfulness, a bit of a play on words and more in the desperation and frustration evident in Ophelia’s words as well as those of Hamlet and his parents. One feels the horror in the actions of Hamlet as his mother sees him run his uncle through in her boudoir. He utters “No, by the rood, not so: You are the Queen, your husband’s brother’s wife, And,–would it were not so! –you are my mother. ” (Shakespeare, 100) But it is more of a Dramatic element than actual action.

Understanding Shakespeare’s development of drama in the story of Hamlet requires an understanding of the particular elements that are considered. Those elements include a sense of pride, a sense of honor, justice, loyalty and camaraderie, love and devotion that are translated regardless of the era in which the reader would exist along with the specifications of the fact that Hamlet is a combination of three major elements that shapes his nature. These are fundamentally his notion of spiritual knowledge along with his contemplative or reflective attitude.

Additionally Hamlet is also shaped by the artistic or dramatic elements that reflect the internal confusions of the man. It can well be mentioned that the wondrous ability of Shakespearean works would be the very fact that translation into modern times is a simple endeavor and that the emotions, the reactions, in fact, the very basic instincts which are portrayed would and could easily be seen in this world as they were in the imagination of William Shakespeare.

Reference

Shakespeare, William; Complete Works of William Shakespeare; Alliance Publishers Pvt. Ltd; 2000

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