The Importance Of Reason In Shakespeare's Hamlet
Hamlet first reveals this knowledge when he plans the "Mousetrap" in acts 2 and 3. Hamlet does not want to kill Claudius unless he is sure that Claudius is guilty (2.2.595-598 & 3.2.74-81). This shows Hamlet's regard for justice and honor, which were the true laws during his time.
Hamlet again questions the divine lawfulness of killing Claudius in act 3 scene 3. "A villain kills my father kills my father, and for that, / I, his sole son, do this same villain send / To heaven," (3.3.76-78). Hamlet understands that even though Claudius is a villain, if Hamlet kills him in cold blood, Hamlet will purge Claudius's soul and condemn his own. Hamlet understands that in the eyes of God his actions would be wrong, not right.
"Oh heart, lose not thy nature! Let not ever the soul of Nero enter this firm bosom," (3.2.392-393). Hamlet utters these lines before he goes to see his mother. He is reminding himself to contain the anger he feels towards his mother, and to not harm her. He understands that it would be wrong to harm her, and he strives to act in an honorable and just manner. Even though he eventually loses his anger and begins to talk to his mother in a dishonorable way, this passage shows that he knew the difference between right and wrong. To be sane it is not necessary to act honorable, but to merely know the difference …show more content…
Sources Cited and Consulted:
Bloom, Harold. "Introduction." Modern Critical Interpretations: Hamlet. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York City: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986. 1-10.
Findlay, Alison. "Hamlet: A Document in Madness." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. New York: AMS Press, 1994. 189-205.
Goldman, Michael. "Hamlet and Our Problems." Critical Essays on Shakespeare's Hamlet. Ed. David Scott Kaston. New York City: Prentice Hall International. 1995. 43-55
Hart, Bernard. The Psychology of Insanity. London: Cambridge, 1914.
Landis, Carney, and James D. Page. Modern Soceity and Mental Disease. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1938.
Rose, Mark. "Reforming the Role." Modern Critical Interpretations: Hamlet. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York City: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986. 117-128
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Norton Critical ed. Ed. Cyrus Hoy. New York: Norton,