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Themes Of Good To Evil In Hamlet

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1411 words Published: 10th May 2017

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Sometimes readers believe that for a character in a plot to destroy evil, he must turn into an evil person, even if he has to pay with his own life. In “Hamlet”, from Shakespeare, Prince Hamlet plays both roles the main character and as well the hero of the story. In the history of theater, movies, and literature, there are parts where the hero or the main character, in this case Hamlet, of the story is determined to destroy an evil person and one may imagine how a hero might do so. The first option is to completely eliminate the evil in that character or the individual himself. The other way is to carefully plan the engagement and as the hero is setting up his plans and waiting for the right time like, Hamlet did, he becomes evil as he watches the evil in the other characters and their surroundings, specially listening to the ghost of his father.

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The evil inside of one person, in a way, is like a contagious disease. It can be inside of one person and after awhile infect another one, and it keeps doing this repeatedly until the carrier of evil dies without passing to another person who cannot avoid the evil. Heroes destroy evil over and over again, like most of movies and plays in the theaters, but there has always been one question that people like to ask about the transference of evil from one person to another. And that question is; is there any hope for a good person to destroy evil without becoming a bad person and evil himself? My own opinion is that, heroes can try hard no matter how, if he wishes to destroy and kill evil, this particular hero or heroes most of the times become evil in some way in order to achieve their goals.

In the play “Hamlet”, the readers can plainly see Hamlet’s behavior changing during the play from good to evil. In the beginning, he is a good prince and a well respected young man, and then his father’s ghost, who in my thoughts is an evil ghost, tells him that his uncle murdered him, his father. Hamlet then becomes furious and start to setup a plan to murder Claudius in cold blood. Ophelia, which is the girl that Hamlet loves so dearly, becomes nothing more than another girl around town. Ambushed by evil thoughts, he even tells her, “You should not have believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not”. I believe Hamlet is not speaking from his heart and soul, readers can see that he did really love her and to prove that at her funeral, he told everyone, “I loved Ophelia; Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantities of love make up my sum; What wilt thou do for her.” Hamlet also turns from a normal person into a soulless and filthy man. For example, the readers observe this as him, Hamlet, towards the end of the story, gropes his mother, Gertrude, and nearly makes out with her. This is very sick, but that is what evil can do to a person, blind the victim, and control its thoughts and actions.

The possession of evil can also bring out the thoughtless, mad, and foolish monster in a man and ruin his reputation and life. Princes Hamlet breaks out with anger in front of his best friends, as well as Horatio, his lifetime best friend of all. His friends can clearly see that he is losing his mind. For God’s sake, even the poor gravedigger from town knows that Hamlet has gone mad. Once Hamlet confronts him, the gravedigger doesn’t recognize Hamlet, and he say, “Hamlet is mad and sent to England…why, because ‘a was mad. A shall recover his wits there, or if ‘a do not, ’tis no great matter there…Twill not be seen in him there. There the men are as mad as he.” The clown, or gravedigger, was talking about the mental state of Hamlet with Hamlet right in front of him. This goes to show that Hamlet went from a respected royal man to the topic of everyday work talk.

Prince Hamlet became a bad evil man, and some readers may even think that he went truly crazy, although some believe he didn’t. Hamlet didn’t just kill one man with the intention of justifying his father murder. He murdered Laertes, he killed Polonius thinking that Polonius was Claudius, and after all he stabbed Claudius and forced the poisoned liquid down his throat, like it was nothing but water, and as Claudius were dying he told him, “Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, drink off this potion. Is thy union here? Follow my mother.” At this moment evil was all around, passing from person to another. The scene’s tone shows such fury and uncontrollable anger with the intent of evil. Even if Claudius deserved to die, Hamlet treated him as if he was a nobody or nothing but a useless animal. Hamlet has murdered his uncle without any compassion. Hamlet didn’t kill Claudius just for his own satisfaction; he did it at the will of his father the ghost. It may appear to be so since Hamlet meticulously planned his vengeance to kill Claudius slowly in order to watch him die painfully. That shows that Hamlet just snapped and went crazy. His total sense of ethics and the poise of a prince was gone, vanished, exchanged to evil thoughts of murder and revenge.

Hamlet illustrates how depth and ability in thinking is not healthy for certain situations that he faces, which eventually leads to his downfall. The human mind is an incredible tool that can be used to accomplish good, or can be corrupted and twisted for evil use. Thinking too much is a deeper aspect of the brain that can result in just as much good as evil. The bad side to this capability is that people end up thinking too much about a decision and never end up actually doing anything. The more people think, the less they do. As a result, thinking too much leads people to doubt, wrong doings, and wrong decisions, than the loss of control.

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One perfect example of too much critical thinking is when Hamlet has a perfect opportunity to kill his uncle, the king, and revenge his father death. He almost goes through with it, but then begins to actually think about what he is doing. To close the scene, Hamlet decides that if he murders his uncle while the king is praying for forgiveness, he will automatically send Claudius to heaven and there would be no true revenge in that. Hamlet says, “‘Tis heavy with him: and am I then revenged, to take him in the purging of his soul, when he is fit and season’d for his passage? No!”

Prince Hamlet is well known, at the beginning of the play, to use his intelligence before he does something, but his actions seemed to change his destiny. He blames himself and his madness for his actions. Hamlet has lost his mind. Most of the things are not going his way, making all his decisions, in particularly the revenge for his father’s murder very difficult. “He that hath made us with large discourse and the incapability of making godlike reason, made us only contain one part wisdom and three parts coward.” With these types’ of thoughts, he questions why he still lives to say these words. “Witness this army of such mass and charge, led by a delicate and tender prince, whose spirit, with divine ambition puff’d.”

Hamlet emphasizes how a good and pure spirit becomes destroyed by ambition turning him to evil, the aspiration of becoming renowned and accepted. “My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth.” Hamlet has revealed his own crisis. A pure and good spirit that has been shattered by his longing revenge towards Claudius. Hamlet’s character has been perceived at the beginning of the play as one of virtue and integrity. He becomes a victim of evil and dishonesty because he never forgives Claudius for murdering his father and also never forgives his own mother for marrying Claudius. Hamlet’s personality transformation is very plain to see in the last line of his last talking “my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth.” Hamlet’s allows himself to become someone that flourish off the thought of revenge, and this, ultimately, gets him killed. Some say that a man must become bad and evil in order to deter evil. What Hamlet does is a prime example of what not to do to solve a problem, it acts as a domino effect and creates more violence. But in the end, the right way is the peaceful way.


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