Essay on Suicide as God’s Punishment and Revenge

The idea of suicide is crucial in Hamlet determining the struggle between live and death, moral and immoral actions and human will. Throughout the play, Shakespeare includes moral, religious and social causes which influence decisions of characters and their actions.

Thesis

Help With Essay on Suicide as God’s Punishment and Revenge

Help With Essay on Suicide as God’s Punishment and Revenge

In Hamlet, suicide symbolizes the idea of God’s punishment and revenge upon oneself morally and religiously approved by the society.

From religious point of view, suicide is treated as God’s punishment the characters accept. The changes in live of many characters prompt thoughts of suicide but, rather, inspire reassessment and resignation. In this view, the need to retain intellectuality is really only a desire to continue to meet self-imposed standards of performance. The rhetorical question “To be, or not to be” (Act III, Scene 1) shows that live and death are equally important for Hamlet. He is not afraid of death trying to find a morally right decision. The emotions generated by death of Hamlet’s father and Ophelia’s madness blustering return of Laertes with sword drawn tend to overcome the intellectual burden of the analogies and comparisons that Shakespeare has constructed overall. Laertes and Ophelia divide between them the two impulses of mourning that tease Hamlet from the time of his own father’s death: that is, revenge in the one case and suicide in the other, reactions to the loss of a father now differentiated as male and female respectively.

Hamlet, contemplate suicide which is an idea of justice, since it amounts to taking revenge upon oneself. For Hamlet, it is morally right to die if life does not meet your expectations but other characters prefer to live in the world full of sufferings and death afraid of death and the Beyond. Such a severe turning against the self is common, however, in mourning. A momentary instance occurs at the end of Shakespeare’s play when Horatio offers to take his own life. Shakespeare prescribes suicide under certain circumstances when grief new and sharply felt that Horatio identifies with his dying friend or is unwilling at that moment to survive him. Suicidal feelings are a familiar aspect of mourning for reasons both conscious and unconscious. Chiefly, the death of a loved or loving person deprives life of purpose in the first instance or comfort and safety in the second. Hamlet questions: “How stand I then, / That have a father klll’d, a mother stain’d” (Act IV, scene 4). Shakespeare underlines that grief may also be colored with self-reproach when it is too late to make amends for real or imagined slights, and because it is possible to have sometimes willed the absence or death of those who were close to one: the actual death brings such failings and resentments home: “this is the poison of deep grief; it springs /  All from her father’s death. O Gertrude, Gertrude, / When sorrows come, they come not single spies” (Act IV scene 6). The death of a member of the immediate family confers the inescapable knowledge of the survivor’s own death, and identification is especially strong with persons of the same sex. When the death is that of a parent, the son or daughter may undergo the loss of an ideal that may never have been consciously thought much about, or the loss of a sense of command. In Hamlet itself the two conversions of loss to suicide are Ophelia’s act and Hamlet’s meditations. Suicide originates in murderous impulses turned back on the self. For Hamlet, life is empty and meaningless: “, throw away the worser part of it / And live the purer with the other half” (Act I scene 2).

In sum, the idea of suicide helps to support plot development and conflict resolution symbolizing divine authority and power upon lives of people. It may be more appropriate to acknowledge and tolerate some diminishment of intellectuality as decline in a less-than-self-defining aspect of our lives, than to see it as absolute lessening. Hamlet accepts idea of suicide as a morally right decision which helps him to redeem death of his father.

Works Cited Page

  1. Shakespeare, W.  Hamlet. http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext97/1ws2610.txt

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