Writing a essay about Hamlet. Need help! heres the essay question?

Hamlet is a young man who is ultimately betrayed by the people he loves and cares for.(thesis- prove or disprove) make sure you discuss ophelia and gertrude at some length.

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  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Gertrude saved Hamlet soul, at least figuratively, by symbolically re-birthing him.

    http://www.thyorisons.com/#Rebirth - The Rebirth of Hamlet

    A gravedigger was hired on the very day that Hamlet emerged from his mother's womb, which was the same day his father put old Fortinbras into the womb of earth (his grave), thus acquiring land "that was and is the question these wars" (1,1,124) and which is Hamlet's inheritance, figuratively a graveyard, not big enough to cover the dead from the impending war.

    Hamlet, born to be a death-dealing king, hates his birthright. Thus, throughout the play he regresses back to the womb (the womb of earth - Opelia's grave), where he is reborn as Hamlet the rational scholar.

    HORATIO [to the Ghost] (1,1,148-149)

    Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life

    Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,

    HAMLET (1,5,207-208)

    . . . . O cursed spite,

    That ever I was born to set it right!

    LORD POLONIUS (2,2,222-225)

    . . . . Will you walk out of the air, my lord?

    HAMLET

    Into my grave.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Indeed, that is out o' the air.

    Aside

    How pregnant sometimes his replies are!

    [Note the pun on air/heir.]

    HAMLET (3,1,132-140)

    . . . I am myself indifferent honest;

    but yet I could accuse me of such things that it

    were better my mother had not borne me:

    HAMLET'S LETTER [read by HORATIO] (4,6,14-15)

    Ere we were two days old at sea

    KING CLAUDIUS [reading the message from HAMLET] (4,7,46-47)

    'High and mighty, You shall know I am set naked on

    your kingdom.

    KING CLAUDIUS (4,7,54-55)

    'Tis Hamlets character. 'naked!

    And in a postscript here, he says 'alone.'

    Hamlet has metaphorically reverted to a two-day-old baby, and then to a naked newborn.

    Hamlet is metaphorically and psychologically (and perhaps literally) possessed by the warlike spirit of his dead father. He had erased himself from the book and volume of his brain and written his father's commandment there. His father was the voice of Denmark, sent from Hell to speak of horrors, to breathe contagion, unfolding the secrets of his prison-house that he was forbid to tell to mortal ears. His father, unable to part from his earthly kingdom, was doomed to walk the night in search of his "extorted treasure in the womb of earth" (1,1,149).

    There was another reference to treasure in the play: Ophelia's "chaste treasure" (1,3,33). Ophelia, like Hamlet, is also untrue to herself by being excessively obedient to her father. She let him tell her what to think. Her very name is an allusion to excessive filial duty.

    Ophelia's grave is metaphorically the grave of filial duty - the final inevitable end to which obedience to their fathers brought Ophelia and Hamlet, to their "marriage-bed." When Hamlet jumps into Ophelia's grave he finally gives his father's ghost what it had been seeking - Ophelia's chaste treasure in the womb of earth, the grave of filial duty.

    Ophelia's chaste treasure was in her lap

    HAMLET [to Ophelia] ((3,2,111)

    Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

    OPHELIA

    No, my lord.

    HAMLET

    I mean, my head upon your lap?

    OPHELIA

    Ay, my lord.

    HAMLET

    Do you think I meant country matters?

    Since she is a virgin, Ophelia's lap is undiscover'd country. After she is laid in the womb of earth (her grave), her chaste treasure becomes the undiscover'd country from whose bourn no traveller returns (3,1,87-88). But Hamlet did return - he leaps into her womb of earth, then emerges re-bourn.

    Afte Hamlet leaped into Ophelia's grave, when he's being choked by Laertes, he says,

    (5,1,264)

    For, though I am not splenitive and rash,

    Yet have I have something in me dangerous,

    Which let thy wiseness fear:

    That "something in me" was the last appearance of the Ghost, who had finally been delivered to the grave where he belonged, his extorted treasure in the womb of earth.

    Hamlet's mother Gertrude is there, channeling St Gertrude of Nivelles, patron saint of mentally ill people (especially those with a rat phobia), travellers, pilgrims, recently dead people, and graves. (See St Gertrude in the Garden - http://www.thyorisons.com/#Gertrude_Garden)

    It is fitting for Hamlet's mother to be present at his rebirth, to bear him anew:

    GERTRUDE (5,1,279)

    For love of God, forBEAR him.

    GERTRUDE (5,1,291)

    This is mere madness:

    And thus awhile the fit will work on him;

    Anon, as patient as the female dove,

    When that her golden couplets are disclosed,

    His silence will sit drooping.

    The hatching dove eggs symbolize Hamlet's metaphorical rebirth. The silence symbolizes Hamlet's liberation from the voice of Denmark

    When Hamlet emerges from that womb of earth he is no longer "from himself taken away." He has been reborn as himself, the rational scholar from Wittenberg.

    Source(s): My website: http://www.thyorisons.com/ Be All My Sins Remembered Essays on motifs, symbolism, & themes in Hamlet. Hamlet and Ophelia betrayed each other only after betraying themselves by letting their fathers tell them what to think. For Ophelia's relationship with Hamlet, please see http://www.thyorisons.com/#Music_Vows - The Honey of His Music Vows http://www.thyorisons.com/#Remembrances - Remembrances in the Book of Their Brains
  • 9 years ago

    ^^THIS

    wow, pretty amazing reply. I'll add that St. Gertrude is patron saint of several things. I'm not a Catholic but here is the webpage:

    http://saintspreserved.com/gertrude.htm

  • 3 years ago

    it incredibly is a school question?? i'm stunned. it fairly is going to probable be the type and enhancement of Hamlet's face and stature by potential of potential of recent-day actors and the conceivable results of it on the Shakespearean day visitors.

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