Essay on Suicide in Hamlet
1624 WordsMar 14th, 20067 Pages
In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, suicide is an important and continuous theme throughout the play. Hamlet is the main character who contemplates the thought of suicide many different times throughout the play, since the murder of his father. Hamlet weighs the advantages of leaving his miserable life with the living, for possibly a better but unknown life with the dead. Hamlet seriously contemplates suicide, but decides against it, mainly because it is a mortal sin against God. Hamlet continues to say that most of humanity would commit suicide and escape the hardships of life, but do not because they are unsure of what awaits them in the after life. Hamlet throughout the play is continually tormented by his fathers death and his…show more content…
Hamlet continues on and almost complains on the state of the world, calling it stale, flat, and unprofitable, showing how truly miserable he is. Hamlet considers suicide as a possible option of escape from his life in a painful world, but feels as though religion is preventing him from doing so. Hamlet then provides us with the roots for his pain and the reason for his contemplation of suicide. Hamlet is is troubled by his mothers marriage to Claudius, but especially how quickly the two were married after his father's death. He continues to express his dislike and hatred for Claudius calling him a satyr, while praising his father and saying how excellent of a king his father was. In one of the final lines of the soliloquy Hamlet comments on how the marriage is a bad omen for Denmark, "It is not, nor it cannot come to good," (I. ii. 163). For the first time we are introduced to the idea of suicide which will continue to present itself as the play develops. When Hamlet is set up and spied on by Claudius and Polonius, he examines the moral aspect of suicide in a painful world. He opens his soliloquy with asking a simple question, "To be, or not to be:that is the question:" (III. i. 58), that is, whether to live or to die. He then begins to question whether it is nobler to suffer life and the, "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," (III. i. 66), or to take ones life and end one's suffering. He compares death to sleep and at first thinks that
‘To be or not to be?’ You will scarcely meet a person who has never heard these words or even quoted them. Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet’ is still well-known all over the world. This story of revenge and a philosophical sense of death can frighten a person and make one think, but leaves no one indifferent. You can talk about this literature masterpiece for ages. So if you have a task to write essays on it, it’s better to define essay topics for high school. We prepared thought-provoking essay topics for ‘Hamlet’ so you can choose the most appropriate one.
Our topic list consists of two parts according to the type of essay. Below, you’ll find expository and persuasive essay topics.
Expository Essay Topics
- Explore the role of the minor characters in the play. Think about their significance in revealing the main subject and the major figures.
- Should we suppose Hamlet is an indecisive person? Why did he refuse to take revenge? Comment on his intentions to commit suicide.
- The main theme of ‘Hamlet’ is the struggle between good and evil. Do you agree with this statement? Analyze opposing characters.
- Shakespeare explores the conflict between appearance and reality in ‘Hamlet’. The essential theme of the play is Hamlet’s unwillingness to put up with reality. Give your evaluation.
- Do you think Ophelia’s decision to commit suicide was unwise? Did she have another choice? What would you recommend her to do instead?
If you choose from the expository essay topics for ‘Hamlet’, you’ll need to give:
- Personal analysis
In an expository essay, you can share your thoughts and personal views without strong evidence supporting every word.
Persuasive Essay Topics
- Shakespeare displays the fixed idea of death in ‘Hamlet’. Prove or disapprove this statement. What are the differences between Hamlet’s perception of death and the gravediggers?
- Describe Claudius as a ruler. Give the proofs of your claims. Who would be the better king in your opinion? Who is responsible for the demise of the state in ‘Hamlet’?
- Should we assume ‘Hamlet’ as a pure tragedy? Find examples of comic elements in the play. Pay attention to Osric and Polonius. How do you suppose the comedy is to defuse the situation or it plays the ironical part?
- The first scene introduces us to the Ghost. Find the evidence in the text that supports the idea of his real existence. If you think that he indicates Hamlet’s mental disturbance, prove it.
- Talk about Hamlet’s attitude towards Ophelia. Do you think he ever loved her truly? What were the discrepancies between his words and actions? Find arguments in the text to support your point of view.
If you choose persuasive essay topics, remember that your aim is to persuade your audience that your opinion is right. So, check for:
- Strong stance for your thesis statement
- Powerful arguments
- Examples from the text
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