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Hamlet's Humanness

Uploaded by Admin on Feb 28, 2001

Sometimes the only way to describe something is to give their antithesis or archetype. We already learned from Polonius’s tautologous description of Hamlet’s antic behavior how not to define. He says, “Your noble son is mad./Mad I call I it, for to define true madness,/What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?” (II, ii). Although Shakespeare’s description on being human takes a whole play, he does a little better than Polonius. Shakespeare displays the sometimes murky relationship between God and man by showing God and Hamlet’s plans adjacent to each other. This relationship is put in real life terms for the audience to see. The Tragedy of Hamlet reveals what it is to be human is to not be God, to not be God is to not be perfect, and not to be perfect is to be flawed. Shakespeare even goes so far as to illustrate how humans should act using a conscience in light of their flaws.

These flaws arise in Hamlet’s deviation from God’s plan as brought to light by the Ghost. Whether or not those flaws are forgiven is a different question; a question we should not answer. In fact, this is where Hamlet goes wrong with God’s message from the ghost, [proved as being a “spirit of health” not “goblin damned” (I, iv), by Claudius’s reaction to the play that shall prick his conscience, “Lights!” (III, ii)] Hamlet is supposed to “Leave [mother] to Heaven” (I, v). Hamlet forgets this part of the plan as he erupts in a not so casual castigation, “You go not till I set you up a glass...And let me wring your heart” (III, iv) suggesting he’ll call her out on her actions himself. Hamlet also deviates from God’s plan when he doesn’t kill Claudius because he may send him to a place Hamlet thinks he does not deserve; Heaven. He waits to kill and says, “Then trip him, that his hells may kick at Heaven/And that his soul may be as damned and black/As Hell, whereto it goes” (III, iii). Hamlet shows us his flaws, how his plans of action are different from Gods, the differences humans have from God and in turn gives a small picture of what it is to be human.

The conscience is used in the play Hamlet for many important reasons. It is used to bring justice and to reveal failures and shortcomings. The fact that...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   02/28/2001

Category:   Hamlet

Length:   4 pages (845 words)

Views:   1584

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