What discussion can be made about this quotation: "In Hamlet Shakespeare attempts to comment on the influence that one's state of mind can have on the decisions one makes in life."In light of this...

What discussion can be made about this quotation:

"In Hamlet Shakespeare attempts to comment on the influence that one's state of mind can have on the decisions one makes in life."

In light of this comment discuss Hamlet's dilemma.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Shakespeare's Hamlet is a huge consciousness in the play; for, he is an intellectual who engages continually in self-debate, much given to such things as rhetorical questions and "infinite reverberations," as defined by critic Harold Bloom. Because of the scope of Hamlet's thoughts, he finds himself unable to take one action because the "reverberations" of that single action will affect other aspects of the political state.

Since his life is not entirely his own, Hamlet finds himself engaged in internal debates, both philosophical and political.  For, Hamlet must deliberate about not just the existential question of whether he should avenge the death of his father and risk his soul in the process, but he must also consider the political repercussions of such an act as regicide.  With such a cosmic mind, Hamlet is overwhelmed with considerations that conflict with one another, and he is challenged to resolve these combatting ideas. For instance, if Hamlet murders Claudius, he may place Denmark in an untenable political position of placing a murderer on the throne since a future king must be appropriate for the stability of the country. Yet, at the same time, he feels contempt for himself for his delay,

But I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gall
To make oppression bitter (2.2.534-535)

And, then, there is the religious debate that wages in Hamlet's mind in his famous "to be or not to be" soliloquy with eternal damnation, "the dread of something after death," as "conscience does make cowards of us all." Moreover, there is also the explanation of Hamlet's psychological state as having existed before the action of the play. In a depressed state, he can only act after he senses his own identity, finally defining himself to be "Hamlet the Dane" in the graveyard scene (V, i. l.251). Indeed, Hamlet is ruled by his state of mind until he realizes his identity.

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