Shut Up, Emo Kid: a Disgruntled Analysis of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet

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Elizabeth Young ENGL 221w Dr. Tom Liszka Shut Up, Emo Kid: A Disgruntled Analysis of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Over time, William Shakespeare’s infamous Prince of Denmark has been described as a tragic hero, an introspective philosopher, and a devoted son. Numerous analyses have been conducted, with Shakespearean scholars only agreeing on one thing: No matter how he is interpreted, Hamlet is inarguably a complex character. Having had to endure this play more times than I care to count, I am prepared to offer my own interpretation: Hamlet is none of those things. He is a selfish, indecisive man-child who spends his time moping around, whining about his problems instead of actually doing something to solve them. In short, Hamlet is the original “emo kid.” Think about it: He’s self-hating, pessimistic about life in general, dresses all in black, and pontificates about suicide. He’s not the most complex character in literature, as so many insist. He’s the most angst-ridden, hormonal, and impulsive teenager in literature! When it comes to Hamlet, one plot aspect that everyone is familiar with is the eponymous character’s obsession with killing his uncle and avenging his father’s death. However, the only thing that Hamlet actually does is make life more difficult for those around him. He pretends to be insane, verbally abuses his girlfriend, stabs said girlfriend’s father, and terrorizes his mother. When he’s not doing that, he’s busy soliloquizing. Not to mention the fact that Hamlet is responsible—whether directly or indirectly—for why, by the play’s end, everyone is dead. Polonius, Laertes, Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, and yes, even Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Hamlet struggles to turn his desire for revenge into action, but he spends the majority of his time waiting rather than doing. Multiple theories have been
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