Summary Of Sara Sheldon's Criticism Of Hamlet

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I agree with Sara Sheldon’s criticism of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the view that perception is heavily a top-down process, where your experiences determine what you perceive of a situation. Hamlet’s view of all of the events is guided by a perception of decay. Hamlet, when he asks Horatio to confirm King Claudius’s reaction to the play, reassures himself that his perception is correct. This only then leads Hamlet down a path where his misperception guides him to make choices he wouldn’t have normally made. As Sheldon says, Hamlet’s misperception all starts when he thinks his mother’s remarriage is incestuous. Sheldon is right in saying that his imagination preys upon what he thinks and that he puts more weight on what he perceives as negative. Hamlet is guided by confirmation bias, where…show more content…
As Sheldon says, “the smell of human mortality” is troubling him. There are many scenes where Hamlet discusses death and mortality, and in all of them his view is very negative. In his soliloquy in Act I, he says, “the dread of something after death,” where he clearly states that he is afraid of the afterlife and what it entails. Hamlet is very apprehensive about death in this soliloquy as well in his soliloquy in Act IV Scene V. In this soliloquy he says, “Exposing what is mortal and unsure” in reference to how Fortinbras is leading his army to death, and how they will learn what happens in the afterlife. Hamlet also ponders about death with Horatio, especially in Act V Scene I. In this graveyard scene, he repeatedly mentions how these skulls used to be people, and what they might have done in their life. The most famous quote of this scene is when he mentions how Alexander [the Great] is probably now a skull like the ones he is holding. Hamlet says, “Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i' / the earth?” Hamlet gets very existential about how everyone ends up the same, a skull in the

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