is it we who are hamlet ?is it we who are hamlet ?

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mrs-campbell's profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Hamlet is close to us because he feels so many emotions so intensely.  He displays intense love, gentlemanly love, confusion, frustration, uncertainty, grief, anger, rage, loneliness, depression, comraderie, delight, misery, regret and betrayal.  His experience spans the entire spectrum of human emotion.  Of all of the feelings that Hamlet goes through, we should be able to connect to at least one of them, if not many.  How many of us have experienced grief at the loss of a loved one, and sought to blame their death on something, all the while finding life and living on after them a "stale and weary" undertaking?  How many of us have had friends hurt or betray us, and suffered the pangs of their cruelty and conspiring?  How many of us have watched in dismay and hurt as parents separate or divorce, ony to get married again?  How many of us have struggled to make a decision in our lives, about something crucial, and suffered crippling doubt in trying to do the right thing?  How many of us have felt intense love for a romantic interest, and seen that love go unfulfilled?  How many of us have questioned the meaning of life, and debated and wondered about what comes after this life?  Hamlet has experienced all of these things, so we too, are Hamlet, if we have experienced any of them.  He is us, because he feels what many of us have felt in our lives; that is one of the reasons that he is such an enduring character.  As long as people experience any of these situations or emotions, Hamlet's character will resound within us and live on.

timbrady's profile pic

timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I'm going to guess that you are asking if we all behave like Hamlet.  I would think that most of us do, but not all, and I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing.  My own experience tells me that things are often complicated, that it is difficult to make a decision without knowing "everything," and that we never know enough to make absolutely certain decisions.  Hamlet could have killed Claudius, but he would never have known, for instance, if he would go to hell where Hamlet though he belonged.

On the other hand, I have worked for people who are capable of making decisions quickly, who do not seem to see the complexities inherent in every situation.  Although these people sometimes frighten me, I know that we need them to make things happen ... if we all waiting for certainty, things might never happen.

But, to answer your question, I think most of us are Hamlet, faced with difficult or impossible situations/decisions, weighing the evidence ... and sometimes deciding if we must.

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

All of us do at time portray the character of Hamlet. We act certain ways to people that we know and act differently to people that we don't know. Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1896) stated,

In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, Oh great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream other-wise,
We wear the mask!

People do wear different masks for people. It enables us to keep a private side, but letting people in on our public side.

romanemperor's profile pic

romanemperor | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

What i want to learn is that hamlet is just one of us. Can we feel a Hamlet in our character. What makes Hamlet close to us? Just his trajic flaw or his feelings; revenge, love....

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