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Posted on August 17th, 2012, by

William Shakespeare in his famous tragedy Hamlet shows behavior of the characters in different life circumstances.

The characters have to make complicated moral choices which characterize them from different perspectives.

Shakespeare creates complicated characters who show different traits of human nature. Claudius and Hamlet’s dead father are brothers but they are completely different.  Claudius kills his own brother in order to take his place. He is a figure which is opposed to Hamlet’s father, who is depicted as an image of honest and noble person. Hamlet’s father can not stay even after his death because he can not stand unfair behavior of his brother Claudius. Hamlet’s father can not stay calm even after the death because he knows that unfair person took his place, married his wife and runs the country. Claudius became typical evil character in the novel. This person does not posses any moral principles.

He is ready to lies, deception and even murder in order to fulfill his wishes and desires. He does not feel sorry even for his own brother and calmly kills him without any regret and pity. Hamlet feels really sorry for the death of his father. When he finds out the reason of his death he swears to kill the murder of his father. Hamlet hates Claudius: Bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain! (Act II, scene 2). Hamlet is absolutely sure that such person as Claudius should not be the kind and he wants to change the situation. He even makes a sophisticated plan aiming to prove Claudius’s guilt: The play’s the thing Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King. (Act II, scene II) Hamlet succeeds but when Claudius’s guilt is proved he fails to act.

Hamlet’s non-action is anther important and controversial aspect of the play. Different critics give different explanations to Hamlet’s behavior. Some explain his actions by cowardice, others by his desire to perform only right decision. Hamlet himself explains his behavior by doubts and hesitations:

 

Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them

Hamlet misses his chance to revenge Claudius for the death of his father. He is lost in his thoughts and reflections and finally looses connection with real world around him. He is not satisfied with his life but at the same time he does not want to change anything. He can not even decide whether he wants to live or not. Hamlet is scared of his past. He describes it as: the slings and arrows, the thousand natural shocks, the sea of troubles, the heart-ache. At the same time he can not dare to finish his life. He sees death as something fatal which does  not bring joy and liberation. He does not know what will happened to him after death and this uncertainness scares him:

But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will.

 Hamlet does not see the way out and chooses non-action as the way to confront the world around him. Non-action becomes his life position and his way to express protest against reality which surrounds him. Hamlet does not see any way out from the situation he is trapped into.  In this case his decision not to perform any actions becomes a conscious decision to the world around him.

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