Hamlet Prevailing Themes Act One Essay

Hamlet is the only character in act one that seems to be deeply affected by the passing of the last king. In fact, Queen Gertrude and King Claudius are quite jubilant because of their new found love and power together. This greatly contributes to the Anguish Hamlet feels because nobody else can identify with his loss. Hamlet’s anguish and frustration is clearly highlighted when he says this to himself, “O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason,

Would have mourn’d longer,—married with mine uncle,
My father’s brother; but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month;
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married:— O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!”

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As you can tell Hamlet is very heartbroken by his mother’s swift marriage to his uncle. Not only has his father suddenly died but now his uncle his new stepfather is telling Hamlet to get over his loss like nothing happened. This is an example of hamlet’s frustration because everyone in the kingdom has seemingly forgotten the death of their once beloved King; Even Hamlet’s good friend Haratio was able to attended King Hamlet’s funeral because he was going to see the wedding. The reason why anguish and frustration is detrimental to the development of this play is because it basically describes the way the main character Hamlet is feeling throughout. Hamlet’s emotions are majorly effected by the terrible loss of his father and he cannot seem to come to terms with his loss.

The close people surrounding hamlet seem to not comprehend his ordeal making Hamlet exceedingly frustrated and this combination seems to inevitably spell disaster for Hamlet. Imagine if you lost your father and your mom just married his brother right after how would you feel. If you put yourself into hamlet shoes and realize the sickening loss of losing a parent you can see the tremendous amount of anguish you would feel. And to not have anyone around to console you and guide you back to a normal life would be very difficult and frustrating.

Revenge
There have not been any acts of revenge carried out In this act; but what has been displayed in the play so far pertaining to revenge, really lay the foundation for future vengeful action. First there is hamlet and the seemingly inevitable revenge needed to be fulfilled with his uncle Claudius. Hamlet is informed by Haratio that an apparition of his late father has appeared. Eventually King Hamlet the ghost informs Hamlet that his uncle Claudius killed him while he was sleeping. The ghost tells his loving and loyal son to avenge him but to not lay any hands on his wife Gertrude. At this point of the play it is reasonable to foreshadow that hamlet wants to take revenge against his mother because she betrayed his father by marrying his brother swiftly after his death.

Hamlet also feels an abnormal attachment to Gertrude so his jealousy may not be solely because of her marriage. Revenge is the main conflict in the story because most of the inciting incidents are based off of it that we learn further on in the play. Another instance of Revenge is mentioned when the apparition was first described and the armor he wore was explained. It foreshadows the revenge Fortinbras will commit because King Hamlet previously defeated him. Again if you place yourself in Hamlet’s shoes you can justify vengeful feelings he possesses towards his mother and his uncle Claudius. And for Fortinbras, militarily there is usually always retaliation so basically in the play the potential revenge seems to be warranted.

Loyalty
Loyalty is one of the most prevalent themes in act one. The apparition of king hamlet reveals himself solely to speak to hamlet and relay the message of the nature of his death. He trusts Hamlet is loyal son to avenge him, Hamlet’s loyalty to his father does not allow him to settle with the new King Claudius. Another instance in which Loyalty was positively portrayed in the act was through the character of Haratio. Haratio is Hamlet’s most trusted friend and he is one of the only people loyal enough to guide Hamlet through such a hard time. Hamlet trusts Haratio to the extent that he shares is plan with him that he will act crazy to throw off the others in a distraction ultimately from the King’s murder. Haratio seems to be the only person Hamlet completely trusts at this time. On the opposite side of this play, Polonius has stayed loyal to the new king Claudius despite this time of betrayal and treason on his part.

Ophelia seems to be very loyal to her family because she obeys her father and brother when they warn from getting involved even deeper with Hamlet, even though there is no evident reason other than the tale that they made up (Hamlet is too good for her). On the flip side Ophelia does not honour the loyalty hamlet intrusts in her and their relationship. Ophelia betrays him basically because she takes her families opinion over Hamlets. Some bad instances of loyalty are shown mainly through two people so far. First it is King Claudius, he disregards the loyalty shared between him and his once loved brother to gain power and replace. On top of that he marries his brother’s wife Gertrude. Gertrude the Queen is not only a terrible wife but also a terrible mother.

When Hamlet loses his father she is off marrying Hamlet’s uncle when she should be helping Hamlet recover from such an emotional loss. When you get married and have children the loyalty that you commit to it is next to none. Obviously Gertrude has forgotten what being loyal is. Loyalty is important to all of us because we need to surround ourselves with people who you can rely on. King hamlet obviously picked the wrong bride and he was betrayed by his own blood which. Loyalty is one of the most important traits a friend or family member possess whether it’s in this play or in real life. Unfortunately for hamlet and his father, loyalty has been disregarded by some of the most important people in their lives.

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