The Mortality Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

1515 Words Dec 10th, 2015 7 Pages
Mortality holds an inevitable, unyielding grasp on the living. As is brilliantly illustrated in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, mortality is both the cause and the consequence of vengeance. Arguably the most famous revenge tragedy in the history of Western literature, Hamlet illustrates mortality in a stunningly raw, yet multidimensional form—and it has yet to be matched. On the surface, the mortality in Hamlet is presented as man’s oldest and most unconquerable adversary. However, one need only lift the veil and peer underneath to see the deeper, more profound meanings behind the mechanisms of death, and why Shakespeare chose mortality as the backdrop to create something truly “rotten in the state of Denmark”(22).
There is perhaps no greater show of defiance to the finality of death than the phantom of a departed soul appearing amongst the living. The Ghost of Hamlet’s father is a crack in the armor of mortality; here is the departed king, returned from the unknown country “from whose bourn no traveller returns;” and with him he brings the fruits of unknown knowledge of the underworld with it’s “sulphurous and tormenting flames”(23). Hamlet first suspects that the phantasm of his father “may be the devil,” and in a way, he was correct. The Ghost, despite his good intentions, was the snake in the garden, with all his forbidden knowledge of the eternal blazon. This knowledge of life after death, knowledge not meant for living ears of flesh and blood, pushed Hamlet over the edge…

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