Hamlet is not a hero throughout most of the play.

As A.C. Bradley points out, it all comes back to consequences. The consequence for Hamlet killing Claudius could very well be his own death. The consequence for taking his own life to escape his troubles could be even worse troubles in the next life. The irony of all this is that ultimately, the tragic consequences of Hamlet's inaction are the multiple unintended deaths he causes.

One of the central questions of the play is why Hamlet delays in killing Claudius.

Hamlet becomes a hero by keeping his revenge waiting until its expression serves other, more legitimate purposes.

5. The scene in which Hamlet stabs the man behind the curtain is a symbol for all acts of revenge.


The title to the play is: "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark".

Hamlet's tragic flaw was his delayed recognition that revenge for the sake of revenge is evil.

Hamlet, at the sight ofOphelia, does not immediately recollect, that he is topersonate madness, but makes her an address grave and solemn,such as the foregoing meditation excited in his thoughts.


SparkNotes: Hamlet: Important Quotations Explained

Bare bodkin is the salient point (no pun intended) of this line, so it gets the stresses. This creates a //// rhythm. Bodkin at the time meant a sharp instrument, much like an awl, used for punching holes in leather. In this context, it suggests a dagger or stiletto (think of the phrase as resembling "bare blade"). The word derives from the Middle English "boidekin." Hamlet is basically asking who wants to suffer life when you could end your troubles with a dagger. After the initial question, Hamlet continues by asking who would bear fardels (pack, burden; from Middle English via Middle French, likely originally from the Arabic ).

Hamlet - a one-act play by William Shakespeare

Hamlet's obsession with existence and mortality is understandable because these themes are very present in events that have recently happened in Hamlet's life, such as the death of his father and the death of Ophelia.

Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1 :|: Open Source Shakespeare

Ay, thre's the rub;" Hamlet Act III Scene I (53)
"Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth into dust the dust is earth, of earth we make loam, and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?" Hamlet Act V Scene I (106)
"Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,/ And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark./ Do not for ever with thy vailed lids/ Seek for they noble father in the dust./ Thou know'st 'tis common: all lives must die,/ Passing through nature to eternity."
Gertrude Act I Scene III (9)
The references to mortality and existence in Hamlet support the deeper meaning of the play by questioning the true meaning of mortality and existence.

Lesson Plan for Hamlet - Teach With Movies

Now that Hamlet is done listing all those "whips and scorns of time," he's getting to the heart of his proposition. Who would suffer all this when there's another choice? Here's a bit of trivia: Shakespeare uses quietus only twice in all his works (the other occurrence is in Sonnet 126). It comes originally from Medieval Latin, meaning "at rest." In Middle English, it took on the denotation "discharge of obligation" and here denotes "release, or settlement of account." It is Shakespeare's poetic license in this speech that produces the contemporary meaning of "a release from life." That being said, it is the older interpretation of "quietus" that leads some scholars to argue that the whole point of this soliloquy is Hamlet talking about "settling his debt" with Claudius. It's the sort of thing that leads to academic "flame wars," so there's something to be said for the entertainment value.