To be or not to be, that’s the question…
The story of Hamlet, written by Shakespeare in the very beginning of the XVII century, is based on an old legend. She talks about how the young prince Hamlet, pretending to be insane, so as not to seem dangerous to the enemies, avenged his uncle for killing his father. The legend has a happy ending – Hamlet triumphs.
In Shakespeare’s tragedy, everything is different. Shakespeare’s time gave birth to people who, seeing around a lie and untruth, dreamed of other, just human relationships. But they also understood that they were powerless to turn this dream into reality. This is how Hamlet is shown in Shakespeare. How unlike the prince on others! He is all alone in black among the people dressed and smiling around him. His glance is gloomy, his brows are shifted. He mourns for his unexpectedly dead father, whom the queen forgot too quickly:
No month! And the shoes
in which the father’s coffin accompanied…
The story of the Phantom of the mean murder completely reveals to Hamlet the eyes of the crime of the surrounding world. The old foundations are collapsing, the whole world seems to the prince to be “insignificant, flat and blunt.”
Father’s shadow calls Hamlet to revenge: “Good-bye, farewell and remember me!” The prince is shocked. Return to the past there. Lost his previous ideas about life and people.
In the ancient legend, the main thing for Hamlet is the duty of blood revenge. But in Shakespeare’s tragedy, the prince not only seeks revenge for the murder of his father-he dreams of changing the world where betrayal and deception are for the better. But he can only dream about it. This discord between dream and reality makes Hamlet to rush about, be dissatisfied with himself. He is all in turmoil, in searches. Throughout the tragedy, Hamlet is a passionate, indignant accuser. “Every word of Hamlet is a sharp arrow, bathed in poison,” wrote Belinsky.
Hamlet can not openly oppose his enemies. And he decides to pretend to be insane – after all, what will you take from a madman, and you can say anything.
All the more clearly the prince sees that those whom he believed and whom he loved, either voluntarily or involuntarily found themselves in the camp of the enemies: the mother, Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia. Traitors are also schoolmates – Guildenstern and Rosenkrantz. This makes it even more painful for him. Hamlet suffers, it seems to him that the whole world is a prison, and his homeland Denmark is a dark dungeon.
Recalling his oath, he reproaches himself for being too slow with revenge. But the desire to act is struggling with doubts. In addition to revenge, he is worried about the profound problems of the century, the meaning of life:
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Rescue under the blows of fate
Or should be resisted
And in a mortal battle with a whole sea of misery
End them at once. Die. To forget
And to know that by this cut off the chain of
Heart Torture and the thousands of hardships that
Affect the body…
To be – for Hamlet means to think, believe in a person and act in harmony with one’s beliefs and faith. But around evil triumphs, which he alone can not win. And Hamlet suffers from internal discord.
Wanting to expose the king, he places a pantomime with visiting actors, in which the story of the murder of his father is revealed. The tension of the situation is aggravated by the accidental murder of Polonius.
The king is shocked and frightened. He tells Hamlet to go to England, where the prince must be killed. Hamlet is poisoned like a beast. The mask of insanity gives him the opportunity to tell the enemy the truth in his face. After all, it’s possible to a madman. But the prince also understands that the words of enemies can not be defeated, that man is only worth something when acting for the sake of a great goal. Personal revenge can not be such a goal.
After a short absence Hamlet again returns to Denmark and learns that Ophelia has died. Laertes, her brother, vowed to avenge the death of his father and sister.
Hamlet is complex and deep, it opposes the feudal world and is directed to the future, unlike Laertes, who is entirely captive to the past. He is for revenge at any cost and is going to fight Hamlet with a poisoned rapier.
In the drama of Shakespeare, Hamlet dies. And Laertes dies. The king is stabbed, the queen is poisoned. In the last moments of his life Hamlet asks his friend Horatio to tell the world about his life. He thinks about descendants, about the destiny of his country.
The great playwright drew the denouement of his tragedy to the future. Maybe those who come to replace the dead, will live differently: better, cleaner, without hypocrisy and deception. It is not without reason that the Danish prince called man “the beauty of the universe, the crown of all living things.”