Thursday, November 19, 2015
The whole play focuses a lot on the idea of repentance. Hamlet is very concerned with this whole concept, often making choices and judging situations based on whether or not someone has repented before death. Hamlet's father is in purgatory because he did not repent before he was murdered. Hamlet is angry at Claudius not only because he killed his father, but also because Claudius did not allow time for his father to repent. Hamlet also begs Gertrude to confess her sins. He seems worried about what will happen to her in the future. Also, he does not kill Claudius in the moment he sees him praying because he does not want to grant Claudius the favor of access to Heaven. As concerned as Hamlet is throughout the play about this whole idea of confessing, he doesn't seem to stick to that when it comes to his own death. He basically tells Horatio, "Whatever happens, happens. I don't really care if I live or die." This is kind of a spur of the moment decision because he does not sense his death coming until he actually arrives at the dual. He lies till the very end, telling Laertes that it was his "madness" that drove him to kill Polonius and claiming that he himself is a victim. If he would've followed through about his belief of the importance of repentance, I don't think he would have acted so hastily.