The Theme Of Death In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

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“Thou know’st tis common; all that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity”
(Mowat 25). Death, a topic often pondered or discussed, is the basis of many novels in our society. Hamlet by William Shakespeare is a play completely revolving around death. Life’s toll on humans and the problems of life and death are mentioned even from the very beginning of the play (Cliffnotes.com 1). As the story begins, a ghost appears to Hamlet telling him that he needs to avenge his father’s murder. Hamlet pretends to be crazy to find out the truth about the murder, which gets Polonius and Ophelia killed. Polonius’ son Laertes makes plans with Claudius to kill Hamlet to avenge his father’s death. He succeeds, but only after he brings the Queen, Claudius, and himself down with him (Mowat 7- 287). Hamlet was the first play to focus on the topic of death in such detail and depth during Shakespearean time. (Gradesaver.com 1) In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, he uses the theme of death to affect the rising
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Shakespeare affects the rising action through the deaths of characters, which results in the advancement of the plot and also the manslaughter at the end. All of these events are caused by the ghost telling Hamlet of his father’s murder. During the action, it also affects the characters by changing their personalities, making them feel guilty, suicidal, angry, and even happy. The presence of death even causes acts of violence, some resulting in more death. Shakespeare uses the theme of death to affect the resolution with even more slaying and unanswered questions. Through the effect death has on the play, there is one lesson that the reader may learn: “The law of unintended consequences holds that whether or not what you do had the effect you intend, it will have consequences that you don’t expect and therefore consequences that you don’t intend.” (Charactercounts.org

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