Research Paper on Following Plays: “Hamlet”, “Othello”, or “A Doll’s House”
- Date:Jun 29, 2019
Hamlet is a complex play which unravels the various s of human mind when everything narrows down to making important decisions that would decide ones future. As observed in Hamlet’s case that through out the course of the play his indecisiveness plays an important role not only in the progression of plot but also in providing a deep insight of various psychological aspects of human beings.
Although indecision corrupts almost all the characters of the play yet in Hamlet’s case it is very evident as it is apparent that the most important decision for Hamlet is to decide whether to avenge his father’s death or not. His indecisiveness regarding Claudius being guilty is clear in his third soliloquy where he says, “Yet I, A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak like John-a-dream, unpregnant of my cause, and can say nothing” (10). His indecision is also interrelated with the confused or his chaotic state of mind as it is also apparent from his famous quote “To be, or not to be: that is the question” (30). This question entraps all the chaos or the turbulence that Hamlet faces because here he is musing on the comparison between the pains of life which he perceives as inevitable and the fear of the uncertainty of death and of possible damnation of suicide. In the hind sight it can also be interpreted as the indecision regarding his every action i.e. whether he should listen to the ghost’s claim and avenge his father’s death, whether his mother is justified for not mourning her father for a longer period of time and his disappointment in love because of Ophelia. However it is observed that all these dilemmas stem because of one flaw in Hamlet’s character i.e. his idealism. Hamlet has a tendency of ignoring practicalities and focusing on his idealistic point of view about life as observed in the case of his marriage to Ophelia. For him love is supposed to be honest, eternal, and fair and can never be defiled. Yet his ideals are shattered when Ophelia returns his gift and lies to him in order to hide Polonius’s plan. Then again her mother’s marriage to his uncle which hamlet refers to as, “incestuous sheets” (8) further shatters his fantastical opinion regarding his parent’s relationship that it was based on love. Hence hamlet’s confrontation with the bitter realities of life and about love leaves him in a limbo where he is left alone and confused.
Moreover ironically his idealism not only isolates him from the world but also alienates his mind from himself. It frustrates him that he is unable to live up to his expectations same as his mother and Ophelia and it further leads to self abhorrence. This self disgust perpetuates his indecisiveness and leads him to question his purpose in life as it is also apparent that he calls himself “a coward” who “must like a whore unpack his heart with words” (18).
Hence his vacillation regarding his action appears to be the only tragic flaw of his character. Yet because of it the whole play takes place so the cause and effect of this indecision is that it propagates the plot and progression of the play. French critic Henri Fluchère also perceives Hamlet as “the first Shakespearean drama which can lay claim to both extremes in personality and universality” and interprets the play as a symbolic representation of the battle between man and his destiny, his temptations and contradictions (198).
Fluchère, Henri. Shakespeare, Dramaturge Elisabéthain. California: Cashiers du Sud, 1984. Print.
Shakespeare, William, and Chris Rice. Hamlet. New York: Pearson Education, 2006. Print.