Hamlet 10 Essay, Research Paper
The Real Tragedy Of Hamlet
In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the death or murder of a character becomes very freuquent. Although many people die. It is a result of their own wrong-doing. You could almost say they deserved what they got. But there were deaths of people, that were due to the manipulation from the royalty. A good example can be found in the family of Polonius . The real tragedy of Hamlet is not that of Hamlet or his family but of Polonius family because their deaths were not caused by their own, sinful actions, but rather by their small instigation of Claudius and Hamlet s battle.
The first character to die in the play is Polonius. Eventhough Polonius often acted in a deceitful manner when dealing with Hamlet, it is only because he was carrying out plans devised, and ordered by the King and/or Queen, in order to discover the nature of Hamlet s madness. Being the King s right hand, it was his duty to obey the King and Queen s wishes, and it was indeed his loyalty that eventually proved to be fatal for him. An example of how Polonius innocent involvement with the royal family resulting to his death can be found at the beginning of Act III, scene iv, when Hamlet stabs him while he is hiding behind the Curtained Wall in Gertrude s chamber. This is a great example of how Polonius, a man unknowing of the true nature of the situation that he was in, is killed by a member of the royalty during the execution of one (Hamlet) of their schemes. This makes Polonius death a tragedy. But he was asking for it, come on.
The next member of the Polonius clan to die is his daughter Ophelia. Ophelia s death is also tragic, because of her complete innocence in the situation. You can argue that Polonius deserved his fate because of his handling with Hamlet while he was mad. But Ophelia was entirely manipulated, and used by Hamlet and the king for their own selfish reasons, and games. An example of how Ophelia is used by Hamlet is seen in Act II, scene i, when Hamlet uses her to convince his family that he is truely mad. Ophelia explains to her father, how Hamlet has scared her, causing Polonius to draw the conclusion that Hamlet has an “antic disposition”(He is quickly losing his mind). The way Hamlet acts in this scene with Ophelia, it seems almost that he is taking one last glimps of her, before he fully commits himself to avenging his father s death. Hamlet is a mastermind, a evil man in this scene, as he uses Ophelia to scare her, to use her as a courier of his madness virus. He knows that if he acts strange, or insane in her presence, it will slowly, but surely get back to her father, Polonius. Hence, it will get to the King. This idea of Hamlet s worked, and the news of Hamlet s Sanity in Question, spread like WildFire. In Act III, scene iv, as you may remember, Hamlet kills Polonius while he is hiding behind the curtains. This event causes Ophelia to become insane herself, and leads to her eventual death in a river near the castle in Act IV, scene vii. Now this situation can be seen to be caused by the combined schemes of Hamlet and King Claudius. Claudius scheme to brings about Hamlet s scheme which kills Polonius. When that happens, his daughter, Ophelia s goes insane with grief, and takes her own life. The death of Ophelia is a tragedy because she did nothing, that deserved death, she was merely used for other people s personal gain.
The last member of Polonius family to die is Laertes, Ophelia s brother and Polonius son. Laertes death was tragic because, although he kills Hamlet, he was merely avenging his father s death. The difference between Hamlet and Laertes is that Laertes does not use others to attain his goals. His thirst for revenge is in part due to the pressure put on him by Claudius. This makes Laertes murder of Hamlet excusable, and his own death, a tragedy. An example of how Claudius uses Laertes to get revenge on Hamlet is seen in Act IV, scene vii, lines 108 to 110.
Claudius and Laertes are discussing about Hamlet when Claudius says: Laertes, was your father dear to you? Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, A face without a heart? He is asking Laertes whether he is really sorry about his father s death or if he is just acting mournful without feeling mournful, almost insinuation acting. Claudius uses these lines to sinisterly lure Laertes into a plan to kill Hamlet, asking him what he will do to prove his love for his father, and sister. in Act IV, scene vii, lines 124 to 126. Hamlet comes back; what would you undertake To show yourself in deed your father s son More than in words? It can be seen, how easily Laertes is influenced by Claudius. With passion of his anger clotting his judgement, he is now distracted, and deceptable. He conspires to murder Hamlet, and in this attempt, Laertes loses his own life to the very poison that he kills Hamlet with. Once again, a member of Polonius family loses their life as a result of a conflict that they were oblivious to. Making Laertes death a tragedy as well.
Whatever people may say. I can say that the tragedy associated with The Play, Hamlet, is not about Hamlet or his family. It is, indeed however, about the tragic fate of Polonius family, whose deaths were not the result of any sins they committed, but actually by their being manipulated, and deceived by Hamlet and Claudius. Pure reasons they were unaware of. Eventhough the death of Polonius family stands out as being the most tragic, im my opinion. There were many other characters in this story who were killed as well, but their lives were insignificant, and were not concerned for a second. There was truly something a mis in Denmark.