Monday, October 14, 2013

Hamlet – Second Level Inquiry (Rhetoric Stage)

By what the play is given unity?

By passion to conquer. The play is started with the death of King Hamlet after he won the land from Norway. Claudius poisoned King Hamlet to take over the Kingdom as well as the Queen. Hamlet was instructed by his father’s ghost to take revenge, which means, in a way, to take back what he (King Hamlet) has lost. Meanwhile, young Fortinbras was preparing to attack Denmark to take back the land his father lost from King Hamlet. So….everything is about the passion to take from others, or to conquer.

What does each character stand for? Do any of the characters stand in opposition to each other?

To me, Hamlet and Laertes are victims, victim of the passion to conquer that others do. And that’s what makes this play is tragedy. On the other hand, Claudius—the main antagonist—stands for the conqueror; greedy people who would do anything to get what they don’t deserve. In fact, Claudius is not alone, but in this case, he stands in direct opposition against Hamlet.

Does the playwright lead you into a satisfying resolution?

Yes. In term of revealing the truth, Horatio was very loyal to Hamlet, without him, the truth would never be revealed. As for Hamlet, maybe it’s better for him to die, because I think he would never be good again after all that had happened. He is a victim, yet he let himself to be dragged to that situation. So yes, I’m satisfied with the resolution.

What is the play’s theme?

First, that revenge produces nothing. A crime must be revealed, the criminal must be punished. But it would be in vain if our main intention is to seek revenge. Look at Hamlet, he used to be a happy man with good future. However, his father’s ambition to take revenge has ruined him; Hamlet has been poised by hatred that he could no longer think wisely. He then become an easy target of Claudius’ wicked plan. Laertes shared the same faith as Hamlet; if only both gentlemen worked together against Claudius, they would not be Claudius’ pawns and ended up tragically.

Second, that passion to conquer will only be followed by tragedy. Ironically, people know about it, yet they still let themselves to be its slave. Greedines….the no. 1 enemy of humanity!


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