Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|GR: Why I love Hamlet
Written by Elysha
(6/11/2003 7:23 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Why I love Hamlet, penned by Cheryl
I have not spent nearly as much time with this play as you and many of the other people here have; however, I do love both the play and the person Hamlet. How do I love them? Let me count the ways. :-)
For now, I'm just going to discuss Hamlet the person.
1. He doesn't take the situation at face value. For instance, he is suspicious that the ghost might be evil, sent to deceive him. Although he is inclined to dislike Claudius, he doesn't immediately set out on a path of revenge. Instead, he sets up an ingenious experiment to find out for sure. This is a marked difference between him and Othello, who accepts Iago's handkerchief as strong enough evidence of Desdemona's guilt!
> Hamlet asks the basic questions of life: Why are we here? What is our purpose? What should we do with our lives?
2. Yes. Hamlet's response to his father's regicide is to probe those fundamental questions, and I admire that. Many people (such as the character Claudius, I believe) put off the difficult contemplation in favor of immediate, practical decision and action. Hamlet, however, dares to face the questions. This introspection may seem tortured and indecisive, but it takes some courage to go through the process without sinking into a bath of self pity.
3. His relationships with Horatio and with the acting company, and his teasing of the spies dogging his footsteps show his human sense of respect and friendship for people, and his sense of humor.
4. He forgives his mother. It can be difficult to see a parent as a person with strengths and weaknesses. Hamlet has to forgive his mother for marrying so soon after his father's death, for marrying his father's brother (which he evidently saw as incestuous). He even suspects that she might have guessed her new husband was her first husband's murderer. But he becomes objective about her, and he forgives her.
Hamlet Group Read is maintained by Laraine with WebBBS 3.21.