Hamlet's Obsession With Death

In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the author presents the main character of Hamlet as a man who is obsessed with death. Shakespeare uses this obsession to explore both Hamlet's desire for revenge and his need for certainty. In the process, Shakespeare leads Hamlet, and the audience, to reflect on such basic principles as justice and truth. To obsess means to "preoccupy, haunt, or to fill the mind continually". This play offers many examples of Hamlet's obsessive behavior, as thoughts of death are never far from his mind. Hamlet is haunted by his father's death, and his preoccupation with it is a thread that runs through the entire play and appears in every act. In act 1, Hamlet encounters the ghost of his father, and their conversation both raises all kinds of unthinkable questions (unnatural death, murder by a brother, unfaithful mother, etc.) and triggers Hamlet's obsession. He feels compelled to know the surety of the ghost's statements so that he can determine how he must act. The use of a ghost to convey information also raises an initial question of certainty. Is the ghost real'or merely a reflection of Hamlet's own thoughts' Act 2 begins with Hamlet pretending to be...

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