“The Dog will have his Day”
When fear overcomes individuals, it acts like a “poison”; it paralyses them, which forces them to escape. In the play, Hamlet, Shakespeare reveals how it is human nature for people to run and hide from a quandary. Hamlet being burdened with the sins of Denmark tries to find a proper escape that will not force him to take decisive action. To Shakespeare the desire for escape is an unpredictable one. Eventually fate has its way; a person can try to avoid it but it will eventually devour you.
All too often when the jaws of fate open, people set up complications to stumble over so they don’t have to face the belly of the beast. This allows them to start fabricating excuses for their apparent lack of action. Ostensibly, Hamlet “seems” to be a man of power and heart. Yet under all the ranks and nobility, he is nothing more than a coward that can not accept the idea of his fate. When Hamlet is given the role of vigilante he “swears” that he is man enough for the job. However when Hamlet does not kill Claudius outright, he begins to lose his vigor. The prince suspiciously admits that he is “mad” and uses it as an excuse to keep prolonging the inevitable fate that he must face. By toppling over this hurdle, Hamlet tries to find reasons why he does not have the tenacity for revenge. Running from the jaws of fate, Hamlet continually defies his solemn oath to his father.
Even though a person tries to avoid the beast, they don’t understand that it dominates their life. It is in places where they would least expect it. In Hamlet’s case this problem is something that he can not just simply avoid; not only does it dominate his life but it starts to take over his conscious state like a “poison”. He is constantly reminded of the molestation that his incestuous uncle has just inflicted on Denmark. For a sinful King is the same as a sinful country and someone must save the nation’s people from those transgressions. Yet Hamlet does not want to acknowledge that he is the savior. Nevertheless fate continually shows Hamlet through coincidental instances that he must do what he “swore” to do. While in the Church, Hamlet looks over while in the confession box and sees Claudius confessing his sins to God. Hamlet, in a [hot-blooded] rage draws his rapier and in that instant is ready to do the deed.
When he realizes that Claudius will not pay in hell for his sins, Hamlet withdraws the impulse to kill him. Then while contemplating the meaning of life in the land of the dead, the venomous snake makes his way towards Hamlet with a shield at his side, Laertes. In that brief moment of time Hamlet could be rid of the plague, instead he goes on a tangent about losing another loved one. As hard as he may Hamlet can not avoid destruction because it consumes his entire world.
Throughout the play, Hamlet contemplates the question “to be or not to be” but as he tries to answer it he faces challenges which makes him realize that saving himself is not the solution. At this point in time Hamlet becomes “the Dane” he was always meant to be. Deciding to “let be” Hamlet understands that “there’s a divinity that [shaped his] ends”; he is to sacrifice himself to save Denmark. Marching into the mouth, Hamlet faces his destiny with power and heart. While facing fate in a deadly duel it becomes increasingly more apparent to Hamlet what is to happen to him. During the heat of battle, Hamlet becomes infected with the poison and recognizes that he must cleanse himself. Stabbing the snake with Denmark’s cross, Hamlet kills Claudius the same way that the King infected the country.
By shedding his own blood, Hamlet released the Danish from a certain fate of cosmic justice. Even though Hamlet initially tried to avoid his fate as a coward his sacrifice made him a hero worthy of a “soldier’s rites”. Throughout the play Shakespeare displayed that trying to escape your fate is futile. He suggests that fate is inevitable, sooner or later you will have to face it or let it consume you.