Hamlet's Enlightenment

Hamlet is a play about a young man’s journey to self-discovery through an intense examination of his spirituality, morality, and purpose on earth. Prince Hamlet’s encounter with the ghost of his murdered father prompts this path to self-enlightenment. Hamlet’s crusade to find meaning in his life is reconciled in his spirituality. Hamlet finds his purpose on earth as a truly moral man following the principles that govern his religion. His duties as a devoutly religious man include avenging his father’s death. The violence required for adequate revenge is justified by the Christian “eye-for-an-eye” concept as well as Hamlet’s filial duty to release his father’s soul from purgatory. While on his quest for revenge, Hamlet reaches important spiritual conclusions that put his soul at ease and fulfill his life’s purpose; therefore, his death in the final scene is not a tragedy but a fitting conclusion to a heroic life.

Hamlet’s personal enlightenment begins in the first scene when he encounters the ghost of his father. Initially it seems as though the ghost’s sole purpose is to incite Hamlet to retaliate against his father’s murderer. However, as the play progresses, the ghost’s role as Hamlet’s spiritual guide becomes more apparent....

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