Hamlet To be or not to be Analysis

By in Communication on November 10, 2015

The word ‘outrageous’ is an adjective used to describe something that is unbelievable or surprising. It is next to the word ‘fortune’. This becomes a very interesting combination because it is saying that fate will be out of the ordinary or extravagant. If he had said something like ordinary fortune he would have wanted to have a life that was calm and predictable whereas the phrase outrageous fortune is suggesting that great things could happen but at the same time an equal opportunity for tragic things to happen could arise. Hamlet is implying that he has been treated badly by fate as he is dealing with his unrequited love for Ophelia and his Fathers murder. This phrase is within the line “The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” Which Hamlet weighs up against killing himself. He is asking himself whether it is better to live through the pain of the “outrageous fortune” he has been given or to end all of that pain, by ending his live. This is a clear representation of Hamlets mental state through out the whole play because he is dealing with multiple mental dilemmas and internal debates at once.

Another instance in the play where Hamlet talks about fate is in act 1 scene 4. Hamlet says “Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect, being nature’s livery or fortune’s star”. In this quote Hamlet is also complaining about the unfairness of fate. In this instance he is saying that one error or slip of luck can overcome all of your previous reputations. He uses the words “Fortune’s star” where he once again addresses fate as something he has no control over. This highlights a sense of immaturity in Hamlet where he doesn’t take any responsibility for his own actions. This is also clear when he complains about his “despised love” for Ophelia. This is nearer to the start of the play where Hamlet isn’t at such a suicidal mental state.



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