One internal conflict is his seeming fear of action; this results from his confusion over expectations of the Ghost and expectations of his religion. He wants to avenge his father's death, but questions whether or not the Ghost is truly his father. Because of this question and his religious beliefs, he suffers from inaction, from his failure to make a move. He eventually compares himself to Fortinbras who can make a decision and act almost instantly, and this causes him considerable distress.
He is also struggling internally with his love for his mother. On the one hand, he truly loves his mother; on the other, he despises her for marrying her husband's brother and so soon after his father's death. Her actions condemn her in the eyes of their Church and doom her in Hamlet's eyes
He is also having trouble dealing with Ophelia's betrayal. Again, he loves her but is disgusted by her behavior: her trickery in refusing to keep his tokens of affection and her unwillingness to be honest with him reveal her betrayal. For all of this, he reacts violently and cruelly, only to find out later that he has made a grave mistake.
In all, Hamlet is suffering internally. His father, mother, uncle, and lover have all caused him to doubt his own decision making, and for this he is thrown into terrible fits of internal depression.
Conflict In William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay
An individual’s response to conditions of internal and external conflict is explored throughout literature. In his play, Hamlet, Shakespeare delves into the themes of appearance versus reality, lies versus deceit, rejection versus self doubt and tragedy, and in doing so attacks the frivolous state of humanity in contemporary society. In order to explore these themes, however, he uses several forms of conflict to project his opinions and expand his ideas relating to the themes of the play. Internal conflict, as well as external conflict are dominant features of his works, and in Hamlet are made evident through a succession of dire events which can attack and destroy someone. However perhaps the most captivating form of conflict Shakespeare uses to expand and explore the ideas presented within the text is the conflict between the self and the universe.
Old Hamlet is killed by his brother Claudius. Only two months after her husband’s death a vulnerable Gertrude marries her husband’s brother Claudius. Gertrude’s weakness opens the door for Claudius to take the throne as the king of Denmark. Hamlet is outraged by this, he loses respect for his mother as he feels that she has rejected him and has taken no time to mourn her own husband’s death. One night old Hamlets ghost appears to prince Hamlet and tells him how he was poisoned by his own brother. Up until this point the kingdom of Denmark believed that old Hamlet had died of natural causes. As it was custom, prince Hamlet sought to avenge his father’s death. This leads Hamlet, the main character into a state of internal conflict as he agonises over what action and when to take it as to avenge his father’s death. Shakespeare’s play presents the reader with various forms of conflict which plague his characters. He explores these conflicts through the use of soliloquies, recurring motifs, structure and mirror plotting.
Shakespeare uses external conflict in order to explore the theme of consequence, action and reaction in reaction in relation to consequence. Using the idea of external conflict, the playwright is able to demonstrate the aftermath of a difficult decision, leading to personal moral dilemma. This is made evident to the viewer when Hamlet kills Claudius. External conflict is used to explore Shakespeare’s view that man is a complex individual and that all actions have a consequence. The consequence that follows is often an internal one.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is presented as thinker who takes a lot of time contemplating how to avenge his father’s death, as a result of initial external conflict after Claudius kills his father. He plots against Claudius and schemes to kill him as to avenge his father’s death. Hamlet in trying to mask his inner feelings and to foreshadow the fact that he is about to kill Claudius acts out lunacy. Shakespeare’s use of soliloquies work on revealing Hamlet’s nature and character. We see that Hamlet is a man of logic; we also see his weaknesses such as...
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