These Words are spoken by Hamlet, in Act I, scene ii (Harold 129–158). Hamlet says these words after he came back fromWittenberg. As he was walking around to see for himself how the people were living, he happened to come across a certain court, seeing the state of the court at Claudius and Gertrude’s he says the words as he sympathizes with the life the court owners were living. Afterwards, being told by his parents, to remain in Denmark, rather than going back to Wittenberg, against his wishes.Putting into consideration what he had seen as he was walking around, and the pathetic situation the people were living especially the condition of which he saw the court belonging to Claudius and Gertrude, he is devastated (Shawcross 250). It is here, that suicide crosses Hamlets mind for the first time because, he deliberates that it is better of dead, than living to continue suffering the way those people were suffering. By further saying, the world is unprofitable. He insinuates that to him death is a better option than continuing to live in suffering.In the other hand, he sees it as a sin, because of his religious background he finds it difficult to commit suicide, as he fears that if he commits suicide there is no assurance that life on the other side will be better than now.From the speeches made by Hamlet, various aspect of his character arises. In the first act, he comes out as unusually arrogant. He does not see the reason that Claudius and Gertrude should continue living such a pathetic life where suffering is part and parcel of life. To Hamlet it is better being dead than living such a frustrating life, which to him does not have any meaning. Hamlet fails to realize that not everyone is lucky as him to afford some life pleasures. He has just come back from Wittenberg, and this proves that he is widely travelled and should be more enlightened to know that, some people are poor and others rich. On the second speech, he is now portrayed as the mature man. Who understands, that people do not like living a pathetic life, but there are factors that pushes them to lead such life, which cannot be done away by just committing suicide.
This soliloquy, is the most known in the English language, these words are said by Hamlet in Act III, scene I (58–90). His mainlyrational and influential examination of the thesis of the moral legality of suicide in an excruciatinglyagonizing world, it is liked to other, several crucialfacts of the play. He poses the predicament of whether or not committing suicide as a reasonable question, to live or to die. He then looks into the ethical ramifications of livingor dying. Hamlet compares death with sleep and sees it as the only solution to end his suffering “[t]he heartache, and the thousand natural shocks / that flesh is heir to.” Looking at this metaphor, he sees that suicide is the only option. According to the religious teaching there is still more doubts such as what will take place in the after life(Shakespeare 300). This question pushes Hamlet to reconsider and changes his metaphor to include dreaming. He says that dreams that occur in the sleep of death are more intimidating than in the normal sleep.
He then deliberates on the ambiguity of life after death, which is linked to the thesis of the difficulty of getting the truth in a spiritually hazy world; this is what discourages many people from taking own lives, so as to end the suffering in this world. He goes ahead, and talks about the experience of life, covering issues from oppression, overworking, and love sickness. Hamlet goes ahead and asks who would choose to suffer if; they knew that he could end all this suffering by committing suicide. He answers himself by saying, nobody would choose to live suffering, but it is the “dread of something after death” that makes people to continue living although they are suffering(Jacob 300). Because, they are not sure of the after life the other side. It might be more miserable than the life they are living now. Hamlet concludes by saying “conscience makes all of us cowards. . . Thus, the native hue of resolution / issicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.” With that Hamlet shows that, he does not commit suicide not because he is a religious person, but it the fear of not knowing what awaits after death. Being a religious person, he should have had the courage. All religious people believe that the after life is better, than the life we are living now, but it is wrong to commit suicide. That could have stopped Hamlet from committing suicide knowing in the end he will be answerable to the Creator.
This quote is linked to many themes in the play, which covers from death, suicide, lack of truth in the spiritual hazy world and the intimate link between one thought and actions. It further brings out the level of Hamlets reasoning in various matters. His intellect is also brought to the fore, as he looks for different ways to solve his misery. He tries the religious approach of having hope of a better future even if one suffers now the after life is better, but this does not help as it does not give himlegitimate reasons for killing himself or kill Claudius(Shaughnessy, 220). He tries the logical approach, reasons within himself, but this also turns out to be frustrating.
From the speeches made by Hamlet, various aspect of his character arises. In the first act, he comes out as unusually arrogant. He does not see the reason that Claudius and Gertrude should continue living. To Hamlet it is better being dead than living such a pathetic life. Hamlet isrich. On the second speech, he is now portrayed as the mature man. Who understands, that people do not like living a pathetic life, but there are factors that pushes them to lead such life Itcannot be done away by just committing suicide. That is after weighing his options on whether death is better than living a pathetic life,fails to realize that not everyone is lucky as him to afford some life pleasures. He has just come back from Wittenberg, and this proves that he is widely travelled and should be more enlightened to know that not all people are of the same living standards, some people are poor and others.
Shawcross, John T..A critical study guide to Shakespeare’s Hamlet,. New York: Littlefield, Adams, 1968. Print.
Shaughnessy, Robert. The Routledge guide to William Shakespeare. New York: Routledge, 2011. Print.
Shakespeare, William, and Cyrus Henry Hoy.Hamlet; an authoritative text, intellectual backgrounds, extracts from the sources, essays in criticism.[1st Ed. New York: Norton, 1963. Print.
Shakespeare, William, Alexander Pope, Nicholas Rowe, and Ben Jonson.The works of Shakespeare in six volumes. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson in the Strand, 1725. Print.
Bloom, Harold, and Brett Foster.Hamlet. New York: Bloom’s Literary Criticism, 2008. Print.
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