The Mystery of Death
After his father’s murder, Hamlet is obsessed with the thought of death. Over the entire play, death is shown many times within Hamlet. Many times throughout the play, death is hinted and shown in such miniscule ways, it is very hard to pick up on. Many instances link towards Hamlet’s obsession but do not make the exact correlation. The play opens with the apparition of the ghost, and the plot is driven by the murder of Hamlet’s father. Hamlet is constantly questioning and considering the meaning of life and its permanent ending. Hamlet seems on the verge of total despair, kept from suicide by the simple fact of a spiritual stun. “I have of late,—but wherefore/ I know not,—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of/exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my/ disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to/ me a sterile promontory… the beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!/ And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?” (Ham. II.ii. 287-298), explaining the melancholy that has come across Hamlet since his father’s death. Many questions emerge throughout the text, for example: What happens when you die? What about heaven and hell? Mortality is the shadow that darkens every scene of the play. Death is portrayed in a variety of ways throughout the course of the play. For example: the ghost. The ghost was a spiritual representation of death to Hamlet. The ghost surprises Hamlet by saying, "If thou didst ever thy dear father love. . . / Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder" (Ham., I. v. 23-25). Hamlet had not realized that his father had been murdered. The ghost goes on to say, "The serpent that did sting thy father's life/now wears his crown," (Ham., I. v. 38-39). It is at this point that Hamlet realizes that his father's murderer was his uncle, Claudius. Hamlet swears to have revenge. Physical remainders of death was hearing about the death of King Hamlet. These two types of death powers Hamlet’s realization...
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