Tragedy of Grief
The play Hamlet by William Shakespeare may be described as a tragedy of grief due to the many situations of grievance. We see many instances of grief in Hamlet. There are three different categories that cause grief in this play; love, death, and revenge.
Love is a major theme in the play. We see many relationships that cause grief to the characters in Hamlet. The love between Hamlet and Ophelia is very strong and there is one main person who is against it; Polonius. Polonius uses Ophelia as a tool to gain King Claudius' friendship and makes her break up with Hamlet. Hamlet and Ophelia are both heartbroken and both end up lamenting about there loss of love. Ophelia takes it harder though, and expresses her feelings in song:
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day
All in the morning bedtime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber door,
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more. (4.5 50-55.)
She is in despair over Hamlet's promise to marry her and is heart broken when Hamlet acts vicious and choleric towards her. Hamlet and Gertrude love each other as mother and son do, but with her marriage so soon after the death of King Hamlet, Gertrude's late husband, Hamlet loses respect for his mother. This causes much grief between the two. Hamlet learns through the ghost of King Hamlet that it was Claudius that killed his father and asks Hamlet to get revenge, but to leave his mother Gertrude alone. Hamlet has trouble with this though and acts very harsh towards her in her room: "No, by the rood, not so/You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife/And,-would it...