Dilemma In Denmark
The Biblical character of Goliath emanated from one of five city states of the Philistines and is described as a giant Philistine warrior who was defeated by an undaunted opponent. According to the Book of Samuel: David, the future king of the ancient Israelites, felled Goliath in one strike. The significance of this battle has endured as symbolic of Church predominance over dark and evil ways. Over time, the David and Goliath myth has woven itself into the fabric of any and all challenges where the meek prevail over the mighty.
In The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince Of Denmark, the protagonist is bereft of such favorable outcome. Shakespeare employs a formidable array of literary devices to transcend time, place, and interpretation. Using the rhetorical instrument of a-play-within-a-play, explore the avenues of relevancy between the play itself and the public, by and large.
In the prodigious play, Hamlet deliberates ad nauseam about the series of events following the murder of the King. It appears as none other than self-doubt, yet the greater notion that pervades is the mayhem that arises when an individual unduly challenges the irrepressible imminence of destiny.
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will. Hamlet V,ii
As prevailing sentiment would have it, most would wager that Hamlet is indecisive, or that Hamlet is allegorically conveying the consequences of going against conventional wisdom by inciting his detractors, in spite of mitigating plot elements.
…there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. Hamlet II,ii
More convincingly, it is only necessary to point to the excesses wrought throughout the course of history by unsavory individuals to dubious ends. The obvious concern in those matters, beyond the acts committed, is the mechanism and mannerism that perpetuate and legitimize that conduct.
Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t. Polonius II,ii
In this equal consideration of theatrics and sanguinity, players pursue lofty schemes in order to gain an unrealistic or unattainable edge over an untenable situation.
The play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King. Hamlet II,ii
In the most pragmatic sense, the inherent value of Hamlet themes, if at all, is to consort with your conscience before delving into the perilous territory of untempered conviction or disparate reconciliation.
This above all else: to thine own self be true. Polonius I,iii
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