Essay: Shakespeare Final Opportunity

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[. . .] Only after hearing King Hamlet's allegations against present King Claudius will Hamlet be able to completely understand how apt his comparisons are. He only senses a state of disrepair and disgust in Denmark. Hamlet feels disgusted that his mother, Queen Gertrude, accepted Claudius as her husband and forgot her former marriage vows so quickly. Nothing that he suspects has any concrete example or evidence of wrongdoing.

Journal Entry 1:

Reading Hamlet can be both educational and difficult. There are several concerns that come up when reading Hamlet which can confuse the reader. One thing that is particularly confounding about the play is the question of the main character's sanity. Hamlet tells the viewing and/or reading audience that he will only be pretending to go crazy. He intends to do this in order to find the necessary evidence he needs to prove to himself that his uncle is guilty in the death of his father, King Hamlet. The character makes it clear to the audience that it is all a ploy and anything that they later witness is all the result of his clever plan. Hamlet promises that he is not really insane, just a very good actor.

However, his actions later on in the play, such as stabbing the curtain where Polonius is hiding in the misguided belief that it is his uncle, do not appear to be the actions of a rational being. The first example of his plan is when he is in the library and insults Polonius to his face in double entendres. Later, he rebuffs Ophelia, the love of his life; because he knows that she has been sent in as a test to check whether his madness is real or if it is pretend. His rejection is so violent and without earlier suggestion that it sends her into madness which eventually results in her death. Hamlet enters Queen Gertrude's chamber, sees some movement behind the curtain, and stabs indiscriminately. The reason for this is that he says it was probably Claudius in the bedchamber. This is not the movement of a logical, rational, or at all sane man. The audience must then determine if Hamlet is still pretending to be crazy or if he has descended into true madness. By the end of the story, all the characters behave rashly without thinking out their movements or the potential repercussions for their behaviors. Hamlet finally kills Claudius by forcing him to drink poison. This is not the logical, methodical action of a sane man either.

Journal Entry 2

Both Hamlet and Julius Caesar are both interesting works by William Shakespeare. There are several ways to compare the two pieces. Of particular interest is to focus on the fact that both involve the government systems of historical places. There are two different governmental forms which are displayed but they both show how problems that start from personal agendas can have large-scale ramifications in the country.

In Hamlet the government is a monarchy. The former king has died and his brother has taken the throne. This has created some discord in the country because some feel that the Prince, young Hamlet, should have been made the king. This kid of discontent and displeasure appears in many of Shakespeare's plays. Whenever a monarchy is the form of government then there is potential for this kind of disharmony. When the present monarch dies or is forced to relinquish his reign for other reasons besides death, there will be some kind of upheaval in trying to determine who will become the new king. In most situations, the first-born son will become the new king. However, as Hamlet illustrates, this is not always the case. Any relative, either of the present king or even of the past kings, can have a claim to the throne.

Julius Caesar is not a monarchy. Ancient Rome claimed to be a democracy which is supposed to be a government both by and for the people. Under Julius Caesar, the people of Rome desired a longer-term form of leadership and wished Caesar to become ruler for life. This completely undermines the governmental system that had been established. Again, the question of succession calls into question the motives of all involved. For Caesar, it meant his death at the hands at his subordinates.

Works Cited:

Shakespeare, William. As You like It. 2000. Print.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub., 2006. Print.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Shakespeare Final Opportunity."  Essaytown.com.  December 21, 2011.  Accessed April 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/shakespeare-final-opportunity-reflection/6070252.