There are many elements held within William Shakespeare’s work of Hamlet that are consistent with drama, and support themes of justice, loyalty and love. Hamlet is an expression of compassion and understanding, a profession of honor and faith in the existence of friendship, camaraderie, love and justice. However, one of the most important aspects of Hamlet is his confusions. It is this confusion that makes hamlet such a loved character. It is this confusion along with a specific amount of fear that lead Hamlet to remain inactive for the better part of the drama and withdraw him from committing vengeance against his uncle Claudius.
Hamlet is such a character who reveals less and hides more in the context of psychology or psycho analysis. This subject is sometimes pragmatic and erratic while at times he is found to be melancholic and depressed. Hamlet would be the perfect subject of such discussion of perspectives. One basic characteristic of Hamlet could be termed as his overdependence towards his mother. The psychology or psycho analysis would certainly narrate this behavior as the finest example of mother fixation or result of Oedipus complex.
According to Freud Hamlet would certainly qualify as character that is in love with his mother in the man woman sense. On the contrary Jung would define this expression of Hamlet as the result of circumstantial juxtaposition. Hamlet finds no one to depend on and as a result he chooses his mother for support even though he knows that his mother was unfaithful towards his father and has married the man, his uncle, who has killed his father. This proves his inactivity and weakness and inability to move along with his personal vendetta but Hamlet possesses other shades too.
It is quite logical to believe that in this context a person like Hamlet, who is a prince and got an amount of followers, would try to kill Claudius immediately. But he acts as if he is incapable and powerless. Hamlet really reminds us of modern day intellectuals who are confined by the rules of market economy and are thus helpless to act against the government induced market ever if the flaws of the government is identifiable. In the same context Hamlet appears inactive to us.
This is in reality could be enumerated as an intellectual’s dilemma. Another significant behavioral exploit of Hamlet is the rejection of his long lasting fiance Ophelia. If Freud is to be taken into consideration then the situation would certainly defined as a result of sexual rejection where Hamlet is found to be exploiting Ophelia sexually by rejecting her and thereby enjoying a revenge of the situation in an alternate manner of sexuality. This could be analyzed as a result of depression that came out of a definite sense of helplessness.
In this situation Hamlet finds himself cramped within circumstances where he is wailing for revenge for the desperation and negligence of his father by his mother, but tends to detach from any direct act of action against her or against the kinsmen who failed to recognize his actual presence as a prince under political pressure due to fear and lack of strength. Further more he tries to seek solace within the principals where he rejects himself from working out any movement with the help of his companions against the king because according to him it would prove to be act against the country.
However as the situation demanded action Hamlet’s explosion of emotion came in the direction of Ophelia and with his rejection towards her, though for a momentary lapse of reason, satisfies the inbuilt eagerness of action within Hamlet. But Hamlet is always late in action. As if something is holding him back. It is not that he is planning revenge and he is extremely careful in planning it. He is afraid. This is fear. Fear of loosing what already he has not lost. One can hear the fear in the words spoken in the first act by the four guards as they change places in the night and day after sighting the ghostly form.
The fact that the ghost would be sighted, feared and then revered all at the same time would be quite the intriguing dramatic formula. Hamlet, the young son of the king and queen, have brought forward in the second act a bit of playfulness, a bit of a play on words and more in the desperation and frustration evident in Ophelia’s words as well as those of Hamlet and his parents. You feel the horror in the actions of Hamlet as his mother sees him run his uncle through in her boudoir.
Hamlet shows his fear, his anger, and his pain at the knowledge that his mother would betray his father’s memory in such fashion. He then shows his madness as the ghost of his father appears and he would hear truly what would be said, if heard nowhere but in his own mind. The spirit of what should have been upon the murder of his father, which wrought havoc, fear and pain throughout. Hamlet appears mad in his raving, in his actions upon the murder of his uncle; yet, he sees only the betrayal of his father’s love for his mother in the actions his mother employs.
Hamlet views justice served in the era where the play is set as being the death of his uncle upon discovery that infidelity even posthumously would have occurred, and that outside the marriage bed, as would be forbidden in the times, should be effectively tried and convicted, executed and such. You hear it earlier in the play in the pride and conviction expressed in the life of young Hamlet. You would also hear the fear for safety in the potential for travel to Wittenberg as Hamlet considers such a voyage. You hear the worry and the anguish expressed by both Queen Gertrude and King Claudius.
(Shakespeare, 245-246, 4-2) The dramatic turns and the expressions of justice, love, and loyalty are threaded throughout in the actions of the guards, the king, Hamlet and others. The sense of honor, no matter how far beyond the death of his father, would be evident in his passionate plea toward his mother to consider the actions she would take as being betrayal upon allowing another in her bed. You sense his fear for the same condition to be found should he ever consider marriage to the woman that loves him, Ophelia.
Ophelia, as can be heard in her words, adores Hamlet, yet she fears his moods, his anger and his reaction to the emotions that have come into existence in the death of the king and the appearance of the ghost he sees, hears and understands. The fact that he sees ghosts, and would hear the words spoken would in fact strike fear in the hearts of Hamlet’s family, his friends and his colleagues. The emotions are palpable throughout the play in its dramatic twists and turns. The presence of ghost could be enumerated as a dramatic representation of the fact that Hamlet already knew.
His father was assassinated by his uncle. He never needed any ghost to confirm what he knew. The appearance of ghost was only a dramatic presentation that instigated Hamlet to act and not just remain oblivious about the entire matter. After all, Hamlet is not entirely without support. Honor and loyalty are expressed continually as Horatio, Marcellus, Francisco and Bernardo as they discuss the ghostly form of the king. The four mirror the expressions of the king, Hamlet’s brother, and the queen as well.
The expressions of madness and fear are evident in the words expressed by Hamlet and Ophelia and then followed soon after in the actions Hamlet employs in the third act. Yet, regardless of the occurrences in this play and the drama involved in the murder, the madness, the love and passion, you see how easily Hamlet can be translated forward into present day. Here is a person, surrounded by friends and in need if action, talks of philosophy when presented with evidence of political wrong doings.
“Rest, rest perturbed Spirit: so Gentlemen, / With all my loue I doe commend me to you; / And what so poore a man as Hamlet is, / May doe t’ expresse his loue and friending to you, / God willing shall not lacke: let vs goe in together, / And still your fingers on your lippes I pray, / The time is out of ioynt: Oh cursed spight, / That euer I was borne to set it right. / Nay, come let’s goe together. ” (Shakespear, 270) Understanding Shakespeare’s development of drama in the story of Hamlet requires an understanding of the particular elements that are considered.
Those elements include a sense of pride, a sense of honor, justice, loyalty and camaraderie, love and devotion that are translated regardless of the era in which the reader would exist. The wondrous ability of Shakespearean works would be the very fact that translation into modern times is a simple endeavor and that the emotions, the reactions, in fact, the very basic instincts which are portrayed would and could easily be seen in this world as they were in the imagination of William Shakespeare.
But when Hamlet is considered individually, we see a character pressurized by the fear of loosing everything that he lost ultimately to achieve his vendetta but only kept it so very late under the perspective of, what is mentioned earlier as, intellectual’s dilemma.
Shakespeare, William; Complete Works of William Shakespeare; Alliance Publishers Pvt. Ltd; 2000