Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|GR: Does he?
Written by Kristen G.
(6/8/2003 7:47 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Hamlet rant, penned by Sheena
There are five people that Hamlet kills (or has others kill) ~ Polonius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, the King, and Laertes (have I forgotten someone?). Laertes' death was very unknowingly done; I really don't think Hamlet should be blamed for that one. The King killed both his mother and father and tried to poison him; reasonable enough, I suppose. R&G were certainly viewed (by Hamlet) as traitors. Did they deserve death? I'm not so sure on that one. Polonius was a spy, and was where he shouldn't have been. Still, how stupid to stab someone without even looking to see who it is first! That's Hamlet's major failing, IMO. Still, I think he was in a sort of fit of rage, and as he tells Laertes, he wasn't really himself.
He doesn't find out if the ghost was telling the truth or not until the night of the play, and immediately afterwards he is sent to England. Basically, I see him as stalled out, waiting for a plan to present itself. Obviously, he doesn't want to kill his uncle/step-father, which I think is completely understandable: he just doesn't know after the ghost's visit if he must kill the King.
I think all the deaths in Hamlet are really a chain of events set off by Claudius murdering King Hamlet. I don't hold Hamlet responsible for the whole fiasco.
Hamlet is certainly not my favorite Shakespearian hero (did anyone say Benedick? ;-) ) but I do feel sorry for him. It seems to me that under normal circumstances, he would have married Ophelia and ruled well. Things just didn't go that way.
Hope that helps!
Hamlet Group Read is maintained by Laraine with WebBBS 3.21.