What did Hamlet think about death in Shakespeare's play, Hamlet?

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In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the play abounds with images of death from the very beginning.

At the start, Hamlet is struggling with his father's death; he greatly resents his mother's hasty remarriage to his father's brother (and Hamlet's uncle) Claudius. He is so distressed that he has considered suicide and is upset that God has forbidden it:


O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt,

Thaw and resolve itself into a dew,

Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd

His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! (I.ii.132-135)

At the beginning, Hamlet does not seem to be concerned with dying. Hamlet is given to believe that life after death is not pleasant, specifically for those who have died with sins still upon their souls at death—which is the way his father, Old Hamlet, died.

By the end of Act One, Hamlet goes to see if the ghost on the battlements is really his father. Old Hamlet relates that he is in purgatory where "for a time," he must walk at night and burn in the fires during the day. The ghost...

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