The Questing Self: "The Divinity that shapes our ends. Rough-hew them how we will."

Hi everyone. OMGyes I feel like posting a blog on my recent Hamlet midterm paper. Just so you all know, I got an A- on it. tehe Anyway, I would like you guys to read it and absorb it any way that you will. I personally love Hamlet and have read through it thoroughly 7 times. I cannot get enough. For those who haven't read it and would like to know a little about it, read my essay. Meg
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Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark proves to be one of the most psychologically in depth plays during the Renaissance. Shakespeare is able to take a revenge story and blend it with the fundamental ideas and problems of the Renaissance. Hamlet’s character radically changes over the course of the play from a passive young man whose intuitions about Claudius are answered. He then becomes an aggressive genius who plans to avenge his father’s death.
In the beginning of the play Hamlet is grieving his father’s death and resents the marriage between his mother Gertrude and King Claudius, his uncle. Hamlet is faced with evidence that his uncle had killed his father when his father’s ghost appears to him in Act I, Scene v, “The serpent that did sting thy father's life now wears his crown” (1.5). After his father’s ghost reveals that Claudius is the murderer, Hamlet is fixated on avenging his father’s death, but he does not act because he is a philosophical and a pensive character. For example, he mutters comments under his breath and distances himself from his mother and Claudius which shows his passiveness. Although Hamlet wants to avenge his father’s death, he obsesses on revealing his Uncle’s crime instead of acting.
Later in the play Hamlet becomes more cunning. He pretends to be a madman in order to find more proof that Claudius is his father’s killer. With this change, Hamlet starts acting erratically and unstably. He speaks in riddles and asks questions that cannot be answered. His behavior is passionate and thoughtful but at the same time is also impulsive. In Act III, Scene iv, Hamlet accidentally kills Polonius, thinking it is Claudius in Gertrude’s room. In Act III, Scene i, Hamlet tells Ophelia in the same exchange, “I did love you once…I loved you not.” These words further prove Hamlet’s instability.
In Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act III, Scene i, Hamlet speaks about how lonely and melancholy he feels in the world and of his present situation. He is obsessed with death and ponders the spiritual afterlife. He contemplates death by suicide, “To be or not to be, that is the question” (3.1), but believes this action will lead him to hell because of his Christian faith and its ban on suicide. At the conclusion of his soliloquy, Hamlet presents the idea that individuals only choose to endure a life of pain because they are afraid of death. With this realization Hamlet begins to take a lead in avenging the death of his father.
In Act V Hamlet solidifies his understanding of death which enables him to act on his plan of revenge. Act V opens at a grave site where two gravediggers are digging Ophelia’s grave. Hamlet and Horatio are given a skull by a gravedigger and they realize the skull is Yorick’s, a court jester for Old Hamlet. Hamlet takes the skull in his hand and reminisces about the cherished moments he and Yorick had together. While holding Yorick’s skull, Hamlet asks Horatio, “Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i' the earth?” Horatio says yes and with that, Hamlet says, “…Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam; and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?” Hamlet finally understands the path to afterlife. Even great men like Alexander lead the same afterlife; buried in the ground or used as clay in the wall. Although very pessimistic, Hamlet realizes that when one dies, they die completely, no matter what kind of life they have lived.
In the last act of this play, Hamlet has come to a long processed realization that every individual has to endure inevitable death, no matter what profession, reign or duty. “…There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will” (5.2). However, Hamlet talks to Horatio about that ‘divinity’ in which shapes an individual. There is some sort of golden opportunity that can be reached when the moment is presented. Hamlet’s opportunity to kill his Uncle has finally arrived and he completely solidifies his vengeance.
Throughout Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, the character of Hamlet endures pain, grief and resentment. Hamlet is not the same character at the end of the play as he was in the beginning. There are several points in the play that change Hamlet’s character. Seeing his father’s ghost begins to give him the conviction he needs to kill his Uncle Claudius. When his uncle’s plot to kill Hamlet is thwarted and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are executed instead, Hamlet believes this an act of providence. Moreover, his understanding of the inevitability of death provokes him to do what he has to do; kill the King to save the people and Denmark.


thank you guys. OMGyes
Posted on March 5th, 2011 at 03:27pm

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