(Foolish busybodies do not usually become chief advisors to warrior-kings.)Polonius launches into a verbose speech about finding thecause of madness, prompting the queen to tell him to getto the point ("More matter with less art"; the queen actuallycares about Hamlet.) He reads a love letter from Hamlet.
You might decide that Hamlet, knowing that his behavior is going to beabnormal because he is under stress, wants to mislead the court into thinkinghe is simply nuts rather than bent on revenge.
Hamlet didn't find meaning, becausethere isn't any, but he did find peace.
Ciphers: Hamlet found out he could act instead of brood.
Doomguard: The court goes bad and everybody dies.
Dust Folk: Hamlet finds peace in death.
Free League: There are many meanings here.
Godsfolk: Hamlet develops as a person.
Guvnurs: Nowadays with good , we couldhave proved the case against Claudius without Hamlethaving to take the law into his own hands.
Hardheads: See what happens when law and order break down.
Mercykillers: We love a good revenge play.
Revolutionaries: Authority corrupts.
Sensates: "Hamlet" showcases powerful feelings.
Signers: There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
Takers: Hamlet learned to quit moping and got what he wanted.
Xaositects: Crazy make sense people the most.
Rempe, Ph.D. on Stoppard and Hamlet.
-- under development
-- just getting started
-- including something about the "tragic hero" business
Wilson Knight once made an issue of the fact that in the prayer scene,Claudius is interested in forgiveness and Hamlet isn't,and that Claudius is right to have Hamlet killed because Hamletis unstable and dangerous.
For purposes of the plot, there is really no reason for Old Hamlet to talk abouthis being in torment or having died "with all his imperfections on his head"(i.e., unconfessed sins).
Hamlet was fundamentallycorrect -- the world, by its very nature, is full ofunpleasantness and wrong.How does Hamlet's attitude toward women change during the play?
Maybe the heroes of Shakespeare's tragedies are not all-virtuousbecause Shakespeare wants to show us lifeas it really is.Since Sophocles's ultra-coldblooded "Electra", revenge playshave been among the favorite genre for theater and movies.
on whether Hamlet has a "tragic flaw." I believe thatthe whole "there has to be a tragic flaw" business was dreamed up by, who gotpaid to tell young people that if they were really good, thenbad things couldn't happen to them, and that people went tosad shows just to have a good cry ("purge the emotions of pity and fear").
"Hamlet" gives us a chance to watch an ordinary person consciouslychoose to say "No!" to the world's wrongness and phoniness, and to strike backwith intelligence and power. From the bare-bones of an old revengestory, Shakespeare has held up the mirror to something in usthat is precious.I hear Hamlet saying, "So many people put so much effortinto doing things that are not worthwhile.
It is no coincidence that both the Player King and Fortinbras are pursuing stupid, vaingoals.What is Shakespeare trying to tell us?Hamlet's "revenge" isn't so much simply the killingof the king, as it is the purging of all the rottenness in the Danish court.
Now, when Hamlet expresses regrets that he's not completed his revenge, he compares himself unfavorably to the PlayerKing (who has just recited a ridiculous, bombastic speech)and to Fortinbras (who is getting thousands of people killed forno good reason at all -- I first became interested in Shakespeareduring the Vietnam war).
But the truth is that Hamlet has no opportunity to kill the king andthen justify his action, until the final disaster, when Laertes reveals "The king's to blame".
Bradley points out thatHamlet seems depressed ("melancholy") and that this will slow a persondown; early 20th century writers influenced by psychoanalysistalked about a mother-fixation causing the depression.
The nonsense about Hamlet being "unable to make up his mind"begins with his own speeches after hearing the Player King'sspeech on Hecuba (he berates himself for hesitating), and especially after talking to Fortinbras's soldier("thinking too precisely on the event" -- i.e., people whoobsess a lot are the ones who do the least).