The Problem of Good and Evil in the Shakespearean tragedy “Hamlet”

To be kind, I need me


V. Shakespeare

Probably, there are no people who perceive Good and Evil as something definite once and for all. In the same way, as there is no color in the living nature without halftones, without shades. Of course, everyone has his own idea of ​​the ideal, everyone goes to his own way, allowing himself compromises, disappointing in his dream or being strengthened by faith.

The expression is known: “The end justifies the means.” But let’s think: is this so? Can low value be justified by a noble goal? And does a person always have the right to make a judgment on others, to determine the degree of guilt and, even more so, to dispose of someone else’s life?

To these questions there is still no unambiguous answer. The only thing we can say, trying to understand the actions of the Shakespearean hero, that, probably, each time has his own understanding of Good and Evil, honor and dishonor.


his tragedy Shakespeare tries to answer these eternal questions. That’s why his Hamlet is interesting to us even after five centuries: he is close and understandable, then mysterious and unpredictable, like any living person. Learning from the Phantom of the truth about the death of his father, Hamlet verifies his words, not wanting that even the unpleasant Claudius was slandered. The ingenuity with which the prince tries to do this is striking at the same time: he asks stray actors to play the scene of the poisoning of the king. Hamlet’s feigned madness is also a kind of “mousetrap”, forcing other heroes to reveal themselves. In addition, Hamlet’s insanity is symbolic: after all, Shakespeare’s madness or clown is the bearers of justice, the most sighted, the wisest.

To bring your hand with a punishing sword, you need to make sure the correct direction of impact. True, you can also slaughter Polonius, the insidious flatterer and hypocrite, thinking that Claudius himself is hiding behind the carpet. And no shadow of remorse, although he had just killed not so good, but a

man, and besides his beloved father! Perhaps Hamlet behaves this way because he has already made a choice: “To be or not to be?” “Not to be” means to “submit to the sling and arrow of a furious fate,” to take down the “whips and the mockery of the century, the oppression of the strong, the mockery of the proud.” “To be” means to “fight against the sea of ​​troubles, to fight them with confrontation.” We see that this choice is difficult for Hamlet. Not because he does not believe in himself and does not expect to stand against Evil and win – because he knows: in defending Good, he must become merciless. His short journey of life – the path of a humane, talented young man, a philosopher, inclined to create and create, – turned out to be the road of a warrior with a sword in his hand, who lost everything: his mother, his friends, his beloved, even his very life. All except honor, dignity and faith.

His personal revenge Hamlet committed, killing Claudius. But the big task – to do so, that Good has triumphed in life – remains beyond his power. And this generates in him a feeling of deep sorrow, discontent with himself. The embodiment of Evil in the drama is Claudius. But the criminal Claudius is not a frank “villain” of melodrama. He is cunning and crafty. “You can smile, smile and be a scoundrel,” Hamlet says of him. Sometimes Claudius finds even a “penitential” mood. Two-faced and Polonius. Laertes, to whom Hamlet, in general, is good, alien to the thoughts and feelings that worry the prince. Instigated by the king, he, without hesitation, calls Hamlet to a duel. Laertes can be understood: he avenges his father and sister, but why use a poisoned rapier? True, before his death, seized by a sense of guilt,

Не понимает сына и Гертруда, хотя по-своему любит его. Лишь один из друзей, Горацио – друг до конца: он хочет последовать за Гамлетом в могилу. Может быть, он так горячо воспринимает происходящее, потому что “римлянин, не датчанин душою”, и это значит, что среди соотечественников героя пока не понимают?

“Быть” для Гамлета – еще и в том, чтобы рассказать миру правду о себе, что он и поручает сделать Горацио. Гамлет заботится и о своем народе: понимая, что нет для страны ничего хуже смуты, войн и раздоров, он отдает свой “умирающий голос” Фортинбрасу, воспринимая его не как противника, а как достойного, Мужественного человека, явившегося мстить за отца. Похожие судьбы! Норвежский принц поймет Гамлета, воздав ему высшие воинские почести.

Hamlet did not want to be a warrior – he had to become one. He did not have time to create good and beautiful, but at the cost of his life he cleared a place for him, fighting with Evil. And most importantly – made us think about the eternal Hamlet issue.

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The Problem of Good and Evil in the Shakespearean tragedy “Hamlet”