Conflict in Hamlet

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Fiona Heaney Hamlet: Motives and Conflicts The play Hamlet: The Prince of Denmark is one of the most well known tragedies of the Shakespearean era. Known for its over dramatized soliloquies and heavy religious influences, Hamlet is a crucial piece of English literature that is still analyzed today. Throughout the play, each character faces conflicts, both internal and external, that create a push and pull to create tension and drive the play forward. The role of internal conflicts within Hamlet, specifically in King Claudius and Prince Hamlet, prove to be a driving force and create the dramatic effect within the play through the use of soliloquies, claimed insanity, and personal motives. The readers introduction to Hamlet and King Claudius occurs in Act I Scene ii where the King explains that he has married his sister in law with mixed feelings but he believes Hamlet’s mourning should seize, to which his nephew replies with disdain and offense. This sets the mood for the relationship between the two characters as well as set Hamlet up for his first soliloquy, seen in Act I Scene ii line 133 O, that is too too solid flesh would melt Thaw and resolve into dew! Or that the everlasting had not fix’d His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! Oh God! God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world! This is the first time that the reader sees Hamlet’s inner turmoil as he considers committing suicide over the death of his father but decides he cannot, for the consequence would be hell. It is important to note that purgatory and hell are referenced numerous times throughout the play as a consequence for giving into selfish thoughts or actions. In this particular instance however, this soliloquy also lends to the idea that Hamlet is insane due to the passing of his father. Insanity plays as both an internal and external conflict

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