The Insanity Of Religion In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Although Hamlet shares a great deal through his aside passages, he does not share his innermost thoughts with the audience. The impossibility of certainty reinforces the idea that the audience does not know the validity of his religious beliefs, his intentions regarding Ophelia and his feigned insanity. Hamlet does not make his personal stance on religion evident to the audience. To start, his confusion with religion allows the audience to observe the inconsistency within himself. Hamlet's belief or non-belief in a higher power is known today as agnosticism. His regard for agnosticism can initially be recognized in his famed soliloquy: "To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer [...]Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay,…show more content…
However, an existentialist view can show how he is not questioning his existence rather his essence. It is clear that Christianity plays a dominant role in the lifestyle during the Shakespearean age. For a prince, it is expected to conform to societal customs which includes being a good Christian. In contemplating suicide, Hamlet defies all that comes with his birth into royalty and Christianity. Furthermore, Hamlet expresses his fear about life after death. As a good Christian, Hamlet's essence forces him to believe in heaven as any good Christian would. Yet, the inconsistency becomes absolute when Hamlet struggles to believe in one means of an afterlife against a fear of what is to come. Therefore, Hamlet's stance on religion is quite unclear to himself as well as to the audience. Additionally, Hamlet, through the eyes of the audience, seems to be the most inconsistent when conversing with Ophelia. This confliction can be observed when he shows his anger towards Ophelia and then, one scene later, flirts with her. The quotation below illustrates Ophelia's frustration concerning

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