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Questioning and Uncertainty in HamletWhat role or roles  does questioning and...

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dtaylor08 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 24, 2007 at 8:05 PM via web

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Questioning and Uncertainty in Hamlet

What role or roles  does questioning and uncertainty play in Hamlet?  For example, the play begins with a question and the motif of uncertainty is recurrent as well.  Help me tie these themes/devices into a larger analysis. 

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 24, 2007 at 8:36 PM (Answer #2)

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Questioning is definitely a major theme within this play. Hamlet himself spends most of the play questioning - should he live or die, should he believe the ghost or not, should he avenge his father's death or not. In addition, the other characters spend a large amount of time questioning - Gertrude, Claudius, and Polonius all question the reasons behind Hamlet's mad antics; Ophelia questions Hamlet's affections for her (as well as why he's acting so insanely).

Hamlet is most definitely an intellectual play, but by that I don't mean one has to be supremely intellectual or intelligent to understand it.  I simply mean that its main character is a thinker, rather than a doer, and he gets stuck sometimes, running thoughts around in his head when he probably would have been better off just doing something.

Check the links below for more information!  Good luck!



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