Hamlet Moral Responsibility and Truth - A Literary Essay

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

William Shakespeare created and wrote the play Hamlet in the late 16th century. The drama was set in Denmark, where the main character Prince Hamlet plans vengeance upon his uncle Claudius. The evils that Claudius did included murdering his brother and proceeded to inherit his brother's wife. Prince Hamlet had preceded his father King Hamlet who had reigned in the kingdom for quite some time. The play has had a significant influence on world writer where some of the prominent writers and playwrights such as Johan Wolfgang Goethe, Charles Dickens, and James Joyce have derived writing inspiration. The paper focuses on motives and actions of Hamlet, aspects of justice, morality, honor, truth, redemption, speeches and its comparison to Laertes and Fortinbras.

Firstly, the paper discusses the motives and actions of Prince Hamlet in the play. The key motivation to Hamlet and his plans of vengeance was nature. To start with, scholars and researchers argue out that human behavior derives motivation from nature while nature, which comprises of the nature and characteristics of the human beings (Abedi, 2014). From the above perception, the writer used his expertise through deep analysis human thinking to put it down to the characters. Through the writers inspiration from Mother Nature, he realized a lot of information and aspects that he incorporated in the drama, making it a very influential in the contemporary world. On the other hand, the writer relates and links actions effectively in the play. The actions of Hamlet, which comprised of the vengeance he felt towards his uncle Claudius, seem to come from a truly social context. Evils such as murder and wife inheritances are prominent vices around the globe. From such applicable contexts, the writer composed a well-structured play in an attempt to address such prominent issues.

Hamlet's actions are morally wrong. The reason behind this is that uncles actions were initially wrong. Although, the revenge aspect is wrong as two wrongs do not combine and make a right. In the first scene of the play, it is evident of Claudius evil deeds. Quoting from the first scene of the drama, after Claudius killing his brother King Hamlet, he proceeded to inherit his wife, Gertrude and taking the throne (Graf, 2013). In the modern society, such acts happen quite often. It is hurting, but other parameters such as well-scoped justice would be fair consequences other from personal vengeance from Prince Hamlet. Although such actions have deeper feelings and are a drive towards the protagonists actions, he should have looked for another manner to solve the dispute. Although Claudius deserved some punishment to face consequences of his offenses, there would be other moral alternatives other than Prince Hamlets actions.

However, Hamlet's character still has room for redemption. To start with, his one cannot justify his actions as morally right. Although, his father's death affected him greatly, it was an aspect that drove him to emotions, feelings, and thoughts of revenge. As a reference to the play, his uncle had the guts to murder his father and inherit his mother (Abedi, 2014). The perspective could give one a huge quest for revenge and lead one to carry out related actions to Prince Hamlet's actions. The aspects of redemption advent at this point, firstly, it was a desire to get off the evil nature of his uncle through the actions Hamlet equated to justice. The kind of redemption to his actions would be praying to ask for forgiveness and seek reconciliation parameters to the supernatural being him, and the Denmark society worshiped.

As evident from the drama, the truth is a dangerous factor in the society. The chief reason behind this is that according to the human nature, it is quite hard to ingest truth and factual perspective of happenings, as human beings seem to be prone to flattery. Quoting from the play, Hamlet's friends meet a ghost that resembled the protagonists father, although they are hesitant to tell the protagonist about it. That is an evidence of the way people are hesitant of telling their friends of the truth as most people react differently to factual matters (Kolanchery, 2015). About the global context, most people just enjoy flattery and people who tend to hide some information that would cause the emotions and feelings. Human nature regards the truth dangerous as it propels masses to doing evil actions in some perspective without clear speculation on issues.

Prince Hamlet shows heroism quite effectively in comparison to Laertes and Fortinbras. The reason behind this is despite his actions, he still took the throne from his vicious uncle and executed plans and actions of revenge his fathers death. On the other hand, Laertes the son of Polonius is also heroic to some extent. Both Hamlet and Laertes aimed at avenging the deaths of their fathers (Kolanchery, 2015). Laertes was to poison Hamlet as vengeance because Hamlet had mistakenly killed his father, where he never succeeded. What makes Hamlet heroic is his success and calculated plans of actions towards Claudius, which makes Laertes less of a hero. Fortinbras was a prince in the Norwegian kingdom. Although the kingdom was subordinate to Denmarks kingdom as Denmark had won over Norway. Since the kingdom of Norway was subordinate to Denmark, it made Prince Fortinbras less of a hero as compared to Hamlet. For the above reasons, Hamlet dominates being a hero over Laertes and Fortinbras in the perspective of heroism.

Ophelia was not much of a hero. However, she played a critical role, as she was the daughter of Polonius. Her father refrain her from marrying Hamlet at first. Her brother also sways her from the idea through showing her the demerits of seeking for the attention of the prince. However, a good number of feminist criticizers argue out that her role was marginalized as she a female in the play. However, she was a good character, and she contributed well to making the play a success. To sum up, the play was enjoyable and creative, which were milestone factors that made the play one of the most influential in the society as it depicts aspects experienced on a societal viewpoint.



Abedi, H. and Pourkalhor, O. (2014). Revisiting Shakespeare: A Study of Human Nature in Hamlet and Macbeth. International Journal of English Literature and Culture. Pp. 1-8.

Kolanchery, G. (2015). Procrastination A Psychological Disorder in Hamlets Character? Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) Pp. 1-3.

Graf, E. (2013). Gertrude's Role in Hamlet. Eastern Michigan University. Pp. 1-49.



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