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Line Analysis Readings Page Home In what is arguably Shakespeare's most recognizable soliloquy, Hamlet attempts to reason out whether the unknown beyond of death is any easier to bear than life. The underlying theme remains Hamlet's inaction and his frustration at his own weaknesses.
Here, however, Hamlet seems less introspective about his failure to kill Claudius than perhaps his failure to take his own life. This is also a speech that explores the idea of consequence.
As with many elements of Hamlet, much of the interpretation lies in the eye of the beholder and the choices made in the production. If Hamlet is portrayed as truly descending into madness, then one can take much of this soliloquy at face value.
Hamlet really is depressed and thinking about killing himself as a means to end his "sea of troubles. Surely, given Hamlet's first soliloquy in Act I, sc. There is another general way in which we could interpret this speech, however. If the choice is made instead to play Hamlet's madness as anything less than genuine, then there could be an entirely different element at work here.
Keep in mind that the scene does not open with Hamlet's entrance; it begins with the plot of Claudius and Polonius to spy upon Hamlet's interaction with Ophelia.
Claudius even says "we have closely sent for Hamlet hither. Perhaps he enters lost in thought; perhaps he enters with suspicion. However, if Hamlet enters the scene suspecting that he is being watched, it casts the entire scene in a different light.
The afterlife permeates Hamlet, whether it's the ghost's appearance, Hamlet's equivocation over whether to kill Claudius while he prays, or the controversy over Ophelia's burial rites at the graveyard.
If death were oblivion, it might be desirable, in Hamlet's mind; the fear that it might not be is what makes it frightening to him. Of course, there is only one way to be certain, and the decision is irrevocable.
Bradley points out, it all comes back to consequences. The consequence for Hamlet killing Claudius could very well be his own death. The consequence for taking his own life to escape his troubles could be even worse troubles in the next life. The irony of all this is that ultimately, the tragic consequences of Hamlet's inaction are the multiple unintended deaths he causes.
To be, or not to be: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?
To die, to sleep; To sleep: Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.Jonathan Bate is a passionate advocate of Shakespeare and his introductions are full of striking and convincing observations footnotes at the bottom of each page gloss unfamiliar items of vocabulary, paraphrase tricky meanings and uncover bawdy puns.
Hamlet Please see the bottom of the page for full explanatory notes and helpful resources. Milo. The primary character in The Phantom Tollbooth, Milo, is meant to represent the typical bored child.
Milo has everything a child should want iin terms of toys and entertainment, yet he is horribly, unchangeably bored.
Arthur Schopenhauer () Certainly one of the greatest philosophers of the 19th century, Schopenhauer seems to have had more impact on literature (e.g. Thomas Mann) and on people in general than on academic philosophy.
This webpage is for Dr. Wheeler's literature students, and it offers introductory survey information concerning the literature of classical China, classical Rome, classical Greece, the Bible as Literature, medieval literature, Renaissance literature, and genre studies. thesis: Despite Hamlet's highly developed moral nature, he becomes morally compromised while delaying his revenge.
I. Introduction: Hamlet's father asks Hamlet not only to seek vengeance but also to keep his mind untainted.