The Theme Of Morality And Desire In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Internal Vices

To be human is to be at a constant mental battle between being moral or succumbing to personal desire. People are naturally embedded with emotions that often dictate our decisions and thoughts; therefore, people’s minds are often completely ruled by this internal struggle. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the theme of morality versus desire presents itself in its characters such as Hamlet, Claudius and Ophelia; Hamlet who is completely trapped in his own hatred, Claudius who is envious enough to commit murder, and Ophelia who is merely trying to obey orders. All of these characters are overcome with emotions that inevitably lead to their downfalls, indicating that Shakespeare’s message was that to be human means to be consumed by
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He makes apparent his disdain towards human nature, yet he has great difficulty making an infraction against humanity. For instance, when Hamlet makes reference to the world, “-’tis an unweeded garden That grows to seed;” (Shakespeare 1.2.135-136), he clarifies that he sees the world as something that should be beautiful, but is instead tainted with the wrongdoings of mankind. He sees little use for humanity and rarely any morality in it either. Hamlet adapts this negative perception due to the death of his father, and the rash marriage between his uncle and mother. Expressing his disgust towards his uncle he states, “Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!” (2.2.568). There are a few times in the play where this intensity of hatred fuels the mission that his …show more content…
As she often strived to obey what her father asked of her, she was frequently placed in uncomfortable situations. As Hamlet was her male companion, her father had requested her to stay away from him, Polonius said, “ I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth Have you so slander any moment leisure As to give words or talk with Lord Hamlet.” (1.3. 32-34). Ophelia being the devoted daughter she is, kept her word. But due to the fact the Hamlet was feigning madness, he made this task particularly challenging for her by playing on her conscience and her heart, “You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish it. I loved you not.” (3.1.117-119) Hamlet speaking like this to Ophelia caused her to feel even more confused, and wounded by the complete harshness of his words. Though Ophelia did as she was asked by keeping her distance from Hamlet, the disregard of their romantic history was an emotional blow. The frustration and confusion disarrayed poor Ophelia’s mind, as she was feeling a horrible amount of uncertainty of what she should do in many instances, but always kept doing what she had been ordered. Caught between having her emotions manipulated by Hamlet, and being taken advantage of by the King and Polonious for her reliable tendencies, she eventually undergoes insanity. This can be displayed when Ophelia enters scene five

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