The Complexity Of Shakespeare 's Hamlet Essay

787 Words Oct 23rd, 2014 4 Pages
The complexity of Hamlet in Shakespeare’s Hamlet lies in the reasoning behind his procrastination: his religious perspective. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of being religious is “believing in a god or a group of gods and following the rules of a religion” (“Religious”). However, this definition does not apply to Hamlet, therefore indicating that he is not truly religious. Hamlet is not morally pulled in his religious beliefs; rather, his fear for what comes after death causes him to be hesitant in his actions that are considered to be religiously unjust.
In the first act of the play, Hamlet’s high level of distraught over the circumstances of his father’s death leads him to contemplate suicide. He wants to alleviate himself of the stress placed upon him by his obligation as a royal son to avenge his father’s death as well as his general displeasure with all of mankind, and believes that killing himself is the only way to do so. This viewpoint is not long-lasting, as Hamlet says:
HAMLET. Or that the everlasting had not fixed
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! (1.2.131-132)
To the casual reader, this may seem as though Hamlet’s religious beliefs are leaving him unable to carry out a suicide. This, however, is not true. Hamlet is not deeply religious; rather, he is fearful for what will await him in the afterlife if he chooses to kill himself. This fear causes Hamlet to be hesitant, not the fact that, as the definition of religious…

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