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Why Hamlet Is Not Fit To Rule Essay, Research Paper

Why Hamlet Is Not Fit To Rule

Actions judged without empathy implore bias at the

deepest root. Seldom, life experience equals the paradox of

participant observation with the magnitude and malice of

Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Although Hamlet tragically suffers

misfortune from the volition of others, his character

measures in deed and thought. From the scant background on

Hamlet’s youth to the words of Hamlet himself, ample

evidence shows Hamlet unsuited to lead. A good man of

sterling character but a casualty of extraordinary morass,

the Prince’s impending doom is inevitable. Hamlet

demonstrates all men culpable. While commendable men may

remain fragile, a leader will elude encumbrance at all cost

to ensure leadership. Hence, not all leaders are virtuous.

Hamlet’s virtues subdue his resolve to lead. Granted the

opportunity, the play establishes the three following

reasons Hamlet can not lead a country: a sheltered life, the

deep love for his parents and an overpowering encountering

with the supernatural.

The play shows no intimation of Hamlet either waiting

or longing to be king. By all accounts he appears content as

Prince. Likewise, one can venture his childhood balanced and

happy. Hamlet laments the skull of Yorick, “Alas, poor /

Yorick! I knew him, Horatio–a fellow of infinite / jest, of

most excellent fancy. He hath bore me on his back a thousand

times,..” (5.1.190-193). Also, he speaks highly of his

father and possesses a profound closeness to his mother.

This shows remarkable parenting, producing an eminently

loving, respectful and faithful son. However, the sheltering

of his life does not strike to advantage. Fueled by the

departure of his protected childhood, Hamlet’s temper

severely distorts his outlook, philosophy and reasoning. The

vast contrast from guarded youth to sudden misfortune

devastates the Prince’s world, as Hamlet’s probity and

grievance polarize his emotions. Moreover, preceding the

ages of approximately twenty-five to thirty, Hamlet had

never experienced genuine tragedy. Deducing these factors

offers a starting point to further analyze Hamlet’s


In addition, Shakespeare conceals a crevasse of mystery

for the ostensible change in Queen Gertrude. Conceivably.

the Queen enjoyed quarters with Claudius while the late King

Hamlet fought distant, gallant battles, making a puissant

formula for seduction. Regardless, as time forces Hamlet to

reckon the death of his father and the incestuous marriage

of his mother and uncle, nascent stages of insanity appear

when he can not voice his violated and broken heart. For

example, concerning his mother’s swift marriage, Hamlet

remarks, “It is not, nor it cannot come to good./ But break

my heart, for I must hold my tongue” (1.2.163,164). His

internal confinement eventually explodes. Yet, Hamlet’s

actions deserve a compassionate view inasmuch as his burdens

unfairly seek him out. Shakespeare ironically limns Hamlet a

courageous yet injured character having no recourse for

recovery, too sensitively lost in the real world. A notable

ruler can only sensibly heed the concerns of preserving his

own kingdom. Hamlet does not employ constant nature for

hardened decisions in high office but a quick temper for


Hamlet’s extreme love for his parents amplifies his

pain well over common threshold. His volatile mix of heart

and intellect render righteous retaliation impossible.

Hamlet’s meager retribution occurs in such harsh words to

his mother as, “Such an act / That blurs the grace and blush

of modesty, / Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose /

From the fair forehead of an innocent love / And sets a

blister there, makes marriage vows / As false as dicers’

oaths–” (3.4.49-54). Hamlet scorns his mother that Heaven

is though-sick by the marriage to his uncle. Further,

Hamlet’s humiliation coupled with anger for his murderous

uncle, ruling through deceit and treachery shows

justification for his wrathful words. Nevertheless, Hamlet

overwhelmingly succumbs to an honest and shattered heart

incapable of mend. However, the most important detail

deserving contemplation resides in the supernatural

visitations from the ghost of Hamlet’s father.

While the ghostly visions traumatize Hamlet, the

contents paralyze. “With thoughts beyond the reaches of our

souls?” (1.4.61). A frightened Hamlet wearily fails to

execute a revengeful scheme. Incompetently, the Prince

muddles his emotional process enabling an eye for an eye

hopeless. The apparition’s message angers and weakens

Hamlet. One reasonably assumes spiritual visions should

strengthen and bolster confidence for the matters on an

earthly plane, but Hamlet can not overcome the vehemence of

his anguish. His severed soul and broken heart corrupt his

focus. Hamlet’s flaws arise in grief and end in agony, and

not even his father’s ghost can guide him through his

entanglement. Hamlet reveals a reckless acceptance of his

fate by his words to Horatio, “There’s a divinity that

shapes our ends, / Rough-hew them how we will–”

(5.2.11,12). Were Hamlet King, his sensibilities empower

others over himself. Plus, Hamlet’s insights turn bloody

from the shame that plagues his heart. With his father

killed, mother stained, he can only live for honor.

Consequently, honor’s reach exceeds Hamlet’s grasp.

In conclusion, Hamlet’s imprecation twist with such

complexity that many adducing solutions abound. But

considering the epic proportion of Hamlet’s first tragedy,

and its persisting anguish, one can tolerably justify

Hamlet’s violence. On the other hand, Hamlet’s sensitive

nature does not enable leadership fit for a king since his

morality preys self-paralyzing. Sheltered youth, endmost

love for his parents and ghostly visits inculcate and

reinforce his susceptibility to the outside world. Hamlet

depicts evil for evil yet good as crushed worthiness. In

essence, a socialized norm of honor and morality dictate the

test for Hamlet, whereas the inability to reconcile the loss

of his father and mother’s shame ordains Hamlet a victim of

humiliation, not a leader. Hamlet, — born to relinquish,

not rule.

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