Hamlet and Fate Essay

1389 Words Apr 2nd, 2013 6 Pages
Harold Bloom says the genius of Shakespeare is that “Characters develop rather than unfold, and they develop because they reconceive themselves” (The Invention of the Human XVII). Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, shows the development of Hamlet within the land of Denmark. Hamlet goes through many changes throughout the five acts, but these changes are not entirely due to the events of the play, but rather to Hamlet’s confrontations with himself. He battles with his mind through soliloquys, he overhears himself speaking, and he always questions himself and the world because he is unable to accept any belief. It is not until the last act that he comes to any conclusion: an acceptance of fatalism, a philosophy that states that all events are …show more content…
Hamlet is very aware of his own fate and the fate of all men: to die. He already knows of fatalism, but he cannot accept it. The thought of death perplexes and frightens Hamlet. But death, to Hamlet, is not a choice to be made. “To be or not to be, that is the question”(3.1.57). “To be or not to be” is not a choice, it is a question and a question is a thought and thus a type of freedom, but death is an end, and thus “none of our own.” That death is not a choice and “the undiscovered country” can never be known in this life, no matter how much thinking Hamlet does, is what troubles Hamlet the most. It is as if he knows that following the course of revenge will lead him to his death and he cannot accept it. He wants to meet his fate but his thoughts delay him:
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, and thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought

… and lose the name of action. (3.1.84-89)
Hamlet thinks of himself as a coward and looks upon himself lowly. He even describes “thought” as an act that makes one sick and irresolute. As a character who disdains thought, but nonetheless is always thinking, Hamlet is always at war with himself. His father gave him the heavy burden of vengeance and Hamlet feels inadequate and unready to meet this fate, at least for Acts I-IV, because he never acts, he only thinks and hesitates. Part of what makes Hamlet think so

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