In the epic tragedy Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Prince Hamlet is entrapped in
a world of evil that is not of his own creation. He must oppose this evil, which permeates
his seemingly star-struck life from many angles. His dealings with his father's eerie death
cause Hamlet to grow up fast. His family, his sweetheart, and his school friends all appear
to turn against him and to ally themselves with the evil predicament in which Hamlet finds
himself. Hamlet makes multiple attempts to avenge his father's murder, but each fails
because his father's murder, but each fails because his plans are marred by very human
shortcomings. It is these shortcomings that Hamlet is a symbol of ordinary humanity and
give him the room he needs to grow.
The Hamlet that Shakespeare begins to develop in Act I is a typical mortal, bowed
down by his human infirmities and by a disgust of the evils in a world which has led him to
the brink of suicide.
Hamlet voices his thoughts on the issue: 'O that this too too solid
flesh would melt...' (I. ii. 135). He is prevented from this drastic step only by a faith
which teaches him that God has 'fix'd/ His canon 'gainst self-slaughter' (I. ii. 131-2). To
Hamlet appears his dead father's spirit, and he must continue to live in the 'unweeded
garden, / That grows to seed' in order to fulfill the obligation he has to his father (I.ii.
Making Hamlet more a story of personal growth than a dark murder mystery,
Shakespeare emphasizes the emotional, rather than the physical, obstacles that Prince must
face in accomplishing his goal. Immediately, Hamlet must determine whether the ghost
speaks the truth, and to do so he must cope with theological issues. He must settle...