Hamlet, Prince Of Denmark By William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) Essay, Research Paper
What can be said about the most famous
work of English drama? A lot, actually. In fact scholars have been pawing
over this play for three hundred years, searching to explain the inner
workings of its plot, and particularly debating why the intelligent young
Hamlet had such a hard time mustering the courage to avenge his father’s
death. Often the only thing these scholars agree upon is that Hamlet’s
speeches and mannerisms are complex, allusive, and sometimes cryptic.
One thing is certain: Hamlet follows the
conventions of a standard Elizabethan genre – the , revenge play” – of
which there are many examples. But Shakespeare’s poetic drama is by far
more expansive and more ambiguous than any of these other works.
It has been suggested that the prince’s
delayed revenge, as opposed to Fortinbras’ decisiveness, is meant to contrast
two universal individuals – the man of contemplation and the man of action.
The university-bred Hamlet analyzes everything too deeply and is thus prevented
from taking any clear course:
… Thinking too precisely on the event
a thought which, quartered, hath but one
and ever three parts coward, I do not
why, yet I live to say “this thing’s to
do,” sith I have cause and will and strength and means to do’t.
But Hamlet’s essential dilemma is one that
has confronted men throughout the ages; and this confrontation -between
duty and morality, courage and fear, right and wrong – will assuredly persist
for all ages to come.