Death In Hamlet
Death in Hamlet Paolo Vanni M. Veñegas March 16, 2002 Death and the ideas related to it are among the most popular and bothersome thoughts that have plagued men everywhere since the beginning of time. The fear of the vast unknown to which death leads has haunted the minds of mortal man and has caused him to come up with various ideas that attempt to explain this mystery. It is for this purpose that religion has come to be a part human life. With few exceptions, religions all around the world exploit this mystery by promising life after death if we follow its particular dogma. Humanists would scoff at these ideas, which they consider blind and pretenseful sins against humanity. Science would say a man’s death is simply the state wherein his body’s metabolism ceases to perform, as with all other forms of life on earth. But still, in spite of all the attention directed to it, death remains a blind spot in human knowledge, its mysteries left untouched.
Perhaps the reason why the concept of death is popular is that it is deeply related to life, as well as the purpose of living. In the play Hamlet, in particular, death is an extremely dominant theme, and affects the actions of the characters a great deal.
“…so shall you hear Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters, Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause…” (Act V, Scene 2, Lines 381-384).
So says Horatio in the final few lines of the play, after Hamlet, the king Claudius, the queen and hamlet’s mother Gertrude, the king’s adviser Polonius, his children Laertes and Hamlet’s girlfriend Gertrude, who committed suicide, and Hamlet’s friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, all die. In the first place, the play is set after a very significant death, that of the...