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In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, suicide is an prevalent and all-consuming theme throughout the play. Beginning with the murder of his father, Hamlet is the main character who contemplates the thought of suicide many times throughout the play. Hamlet weighs the advantages of leaving his miserable life; his derelict thoughts are that most of humanity would commit suicide and escape the hardships of life but does not because they are unsure of what awaits them in the afterlife. Hamlet throughout the play is continually tormented by his father’s death. Hamlet and Ophelia are the two main characters who are involved in suicide although hamlet never goes through with it and only contemplates it Ophelia, on the other hand, does commit suicide in act 4.
Hamlet continues on and almost complains about the state of the world, calling it stale, flat, and unprofitable, showing how truly miserable he is. Hamlet considers suicide as a possible option of escape from his life in a painful world but feels as though religion is preventing him from doing so. Hamlet then provides us with the roots for his pain and the reason for his contemplation of suicide. Hamlet is troubled by his mother’s marriage to Claudius, but especially how quickly the two were married after his father’s death. He continues to express his dislike and hatred for Claudius calling him a “satyr,’ while praising his father and saying how excellent of a king his father was. In one of the final lines of the soliloquy Hamlet comments on how the marriage is a bad omen for Denmark, “It is not, nor it cannot come to good”, (act 1 scene 2 page 6). For the first time, we are introduced to the idea of suicide which will continue to present itself as the play develops.
When Hamlet is set up and spied on by Claudius and Polonius, he examines the moral aspect of suicide in a painful world. He opens his soliloquy with asking a simple question, “To be, or not to be: that is the question:“ (act 3 scenes 1 line 64), that is, whether to live or to die hamlet makes us believe here that he may really commit suicide. He then begins to question whether it is nobler to suffer life and the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”, (act 3 scenes 1 page 66), or to take one’s life and end one’s suffering. He compares death to sleep. “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?” (act 3 scenes 1) In this hamlet quote, we see Hamlet use loiut5rew because he is comparing two things without the use of like or as. He is comparing his problems with a sea large and endless.
We see Hamlet use metaphor again “Who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death…”. (3.1) this quote focuses on the fears that lie beyond death. He compares death to an undercover county this tells us that Hamlet sees death as something unknown. We also see the irony in hamlet Dramatic irony occurs when the audience knows something that the characters do not. In Hamlet, one of the major examples of dramatic irony is the fact that Hamlet, the Ghost, and the audience all know the truth about his father’s death, but the other characters do not. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony numerous times throughout the play in order to underscore motifs of mischief, deception, and distrust.
In the beginning of the play, hamlet shows much desire and infatuation with death and suicide. We can see the more the play goes on hamlet starts to realize the truth behind suicide and what it really means to end your life. We see him change his attitude and opinion once he watches the people around him end there life or die he sees how hard it was for him to lose his father and how easily people forget about him that he does not want the same to happen to him he thinks just because he goes through some hard times he should not end the good future he could possibly have.
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