The Role of Suicide in Hamlet Prince of Denmark ( Author- William Shakespeare)

Essay by yowza7687High School, 11th grade May 2004

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The Shakespearean play Hamlet is viewed by the general public as being the ultimate tragedy. No key to understanding the play exists, so viwers are left to interpret Hamlet as they wish. A few of these various themes include certainty, revenge, madness, and sanity. Yet, the most improtant in Hamlet is the idea of suicide. The role suicide plays in Hamlet, is the deciding factor for many people's final opinion of the play. In addition, the idea of sucide is the substance that makes Hamlet a whole.

The play treats the subject of suicide as sin with the highest amount of humiliation and disgrace. Hamlet was written during the time of Elizabethan Theater. During this time, moral expectations were very high. Meaning that the characters of Hamlet were to upholdd these set moral expectations. Suicide was not included. The main character Hamlet toils around with the idea of suicide, but never commits.

His moral expectations were set high, and the thought of eternity in hell frightened Hamlet. On the other hand, the character Ophelia lost her love of life, and saw no other way out. Either way the Elizabethan audience had high expectations for each character. Hamlet explores suicide and death, and questions what man will do to escape.

Hamlet maintained a close relationship with the audience through his soliloquies. Hamlet's first soliloquy is introduced in Act 1, Scene 2. Hamlet is still mourning the death of his father, while his uncle and mother are rejoicing their new life together. Hamlet is openly defiant, by deliberately arriving to the pure ceremony dressed all in black. Hamlet's overt defiance hints that he is frustrated, and confused about certain matters in his life." O that this too solid flesh would melt. Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!,"( I, ii, 129-130). These...