Hamlet's Dichotomy

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Tension between an individual’s struggle for authenticity and widespread ideological deception towards society highlights the compelling component of the nature of human relationships. The major technique prevalent through the play is antithesis that further posits Hamlet’s questioning of thought versus authentic and responsible action and his relationship with the people around him. As Hamlet remains “unpregnant” of his role, he is further unable to achieve authenticity of self as he continues being constrained by societal values. Permeating the entire play is Hamlet’s choice to seek authenticity in deception as “the apparel oft proclaims the man”, further emphasizing the juxtaposition between appearance and reality. Thereby, clothing, “doublet…show more content…
Consequently, Hamlet’s soliloquy “O all you host of heaven” foregrounds a dichotomy between prepared revenge and action through the blatant contrast of the “heart” and the head, known as impassioned a “distracted globe”. Moreover this dramatic tension between action and inaction is accentuated further through the foil of Fortinbras. Shakespeare purposely heightens Hamlet’s indecisiveness and confliction by contrasting an alternative young man on the unwavering pursuit of “foresaid lands” and revenge for his father. This comparative point encompasses values of vengeance and chivalry and is emphasized through the allusion to “the mightiest Julius”. However, antithetically, Hamlet asks the “apparition”, if he brings “airs from heaven or blasts from hell” to highlight his uncertainty regarding the provenance of the ghost as it asks him to forsake Christian morals through revenge. As expressed by Paul Jorgensen, Hamlet vacillates between “ruthlessness and humane feelings” that makes him torn between action and societal thoughts of God’s divine justice. A struggle that a lead to a paralysis of performance, Hamlet adheres to Renaissance upholding’s through assertion of “I’ll have grounds more relative than this”. As a result, circumstances as such allow Shakespeare to subvert conventions of a revenge tragedy and make his protagonist indecisive and introspective. It is by this that meaning is emphasized and allows us, as the audience to connect to Hamlet and reflect upon humanity’s state to thus contribute to its enduring nature as a

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