Explore the Ways Hamlet and Macbeth Both Shows Depression in Their Plays.

1621 Words Mar 7th, 2013 7 Pages
Despair one of the key emotions that drive both the plots of ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Macbeth’. Although the despair in Macbeth is represented by guilt and in ‘Hamlet’ it is by grief. Both emotions result in the tragic ends of characters such as Ophelia and Lady Macbeth.

In ‘Macbeth’ Shakespeare repeatedly plays around with the word ‘sleep’ in ways that are both hidden and obvious. In doing this, he leads the audience to think of sleep as something that soothes the mind and is a release from stress. Macbeth talks of sleep as something precious, and peaceful that ‘knits up the ravelled sleeve of care’. Shakespeare portrays sleep in this sentimental way to make his spectators aware of the value of sleep so that Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s
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This shows that she is not just having these ‘terrible dreams’ but her guilt has also caused her to relive them. The only point in which Macbeth and Lady Macbeth seem to sleep is when they decease at the end of the play.

In the same way that Shakespeare portrays sleep in ‘Macbeth’, he portrays death in ‘Hamlet’ as being equally peaceful and in particular it is represented as being easy. In Hamlet’s first soliloquy we are allowed into the mind of Hamlet for the first time and he chooses this time to express his grief for his father. He shows his desire that his ‘too too solid flesh would melt’. The verb melt is one that suggests a very passive action that does not require much effort. Hamlet does not want to physically take action but just wishes for his flesh to melt off his body and for him to die. Death is therefore portrayed in this scene as effortless and a release however due to God’s law ‘against self slaughter’ he is unable to commit suicide. The theme of death runs through most of Hamlet’s soliloquies and in Act 3 Scene 1 we can see Hamlet’s returning debate on death. Hamlet starts of his second soliloquy with the use of an antithesis on ‘To be, or not to be’ where he expresses the opposite ideas of being or not being, living or dying. He indisputably is in despair and is genuinely

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