Saturday, November 14, 2015

To kill or not to kill...i guess

Hamlet questions suicide in his famous "to be or not to be" soliloquy. In the speech, he explains the fear of the unknown that keeps people from committing suicide. Because people are unaware of what is waiting on the other side, they do not follow through with the sinful act. It is their own cowardice that saves them. Hamlet also goes on to express his personal beliefs towards suicide and sin.
I like to think that Hamlet is relaying this cowardice and belief of sin towards his revenge against Claudius. His ultimate delay could be caused by the same kind of cowardice that he relates to suicide. I'm really not sure but this thought came up to be while reading. 

4 comments:

Madison Cummings said...

I thought it was interesting when, in the first few lines of the speech, Hamlet asks whether putting up with the pain or killing oneself shows more strength and bravery. While I personally completely disagree with suicide, I do understand where he could be coming from, as he argues that it takes a lot to put up with our earthly pains but it may be more difficult to make the choice to kill oneself when you are unaware of what is on the other side. I have heard the phrase "suicide is taking the easy way out" a few times, and I am not sure what I think about such a statement. I think that it takes strength to come forward and admit that you are hurting and reach out for help, as opposed to telling no one and to remain suffering. But, I also think of how hard and awful it would be to truly come to such a decision to kill oneself. The phrase "Suicide is taking the easy way out" seems to me like it lessens the severity of such a situation. You can never know what someone is thinking in an instance like this, and whether in their mind suicide seemed like the better and braver choice.

master123 said...

What I find interesting between Hamlet and his thoughts of suicide, is that he has and states his thoughts regarding suicide. Macbeth, another one of shakespeare plays, Lady Macbeth commits suicide abruptly. In Macbeth the audience knows that Lady Macbeth has some internal suffering right before she takes her life. Another Shakespearean play where a character, or in this case characters, commits suicide, is Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet both kill themselves and like Lady Macbeth the audience does not know their true suffering until right before they commit the act of suicide-- recap that Romeo and Juliet did not was to commit suicide initially, just play dead. Hamlet, I feel is the only Shakespearean character that has contemplated suicide fully and did not move to a rash decision to kill himself then and there.

Ashley Bossier said...

I agree with you Anastasia. I remember when reading Macbeth we talked about one of his weaknesses being the fact that he made rash decisions. I think it is interesting that in Shakespeare, like in real-life, the more one thinks about suicide the more one goes back on their plan. I think that Shakespeare may have thought of suicide as "the easy way out" that is why a woman and two children commit it. Then again, Hamlet is turning out to be quite the coward so who knows what he is going to do with his life. I think that murder in Elizabethan plays was way too common for my taste.

Abbey said...

I completely agree with you, Madison! Though it is tragic and I don't condone it, I think it takes a tremendous amount of strength to actually go through with the action of killing oneself. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who grapple with depression; they suffer deep psychological pain that others cannot understand. I don't think those who commit suicide are "taking the easy way out" or are being selfish. I really don't think an "easy way out" even exists... You only get two choices. (1) You can either deal with the nightmare and drown in pain, or (2) you can kill yourself, but then you're dead. The process of considering suicide is too intense for me to even comprehend. You have to see a loved one knowing it might be the last time they will ever see you alive again. You have to figure out how you're going to kill yourself quickly to feel no pain. You have to wonder what death will be like. You have to fear what's going to happen after you've finally taken your life. You want to hope that things will get better, but since you have no proof that they will because the afterlife is unknown, you have to think about what if they don't and what if the effort is futile.