Friday, November 30, 2012

Not quite done processing Hamlet...

One thought that has been percolating in my head is: was Hamlet about Hamlet becoming a man and finding courage? Claudius insults Hamlet by calling his apparently excessive grief “unmanly.” I feel like that calling a prince or any man a girly-man would be extremely offensive for any time period but perhaps especially during Shakespeare’s time when gender roles were soooo rigid. Throughout the play Hamlet struggles with cowardice when he contemplates suicide and perhaps when he is about to kill Claudius. Then he has to test his strength against Laertes in a sword fight (would Freud have things to say about this pertaining to a man-part fight? I think so.) So this man-to-man duel is another piece of evidence that supports my case that Hamlet is about hamlet becoming a man and bucking up. Finally! he died, accomplished his father’s wishes and succeeds in dying, which he was too scared to try before. Then he was given a soldier’s funeral, which suggests that he ultimately succeeded in manning up, at least in Fortinbras’ eyes since he saw him as honorable and respectable enough to go through the ceremony.

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