Hamlet: Meaning of Life and Hamlet Essay examples

Submitted By dukeyoung
Words: 1605
Pages: 7

Tom Hanks said it best during the movie Forest Gump. He explains that “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gunna get.” Although this may sound just plain stupid, it has the same underlying meaning that William Shakespeare displays in Hamlet. It speaks about life and how during every person’s life there are positive and negative aspects of existence. Some are inevitable, and some are avoidable, but whether we like it or not we must all face these problems at some point in our lives. As human beings we are naturally curious about the lives of others and this is what makes Hamlet such an enduring piece of literature. As each person reads the play they are curious about how Hamlet will deal with his struggles. They are able to place themselves in his shoes because they have dealt with the same human conditions as he does. It is his reactions to these battles that intrigue us. Whether it is discovering the difference between appearance and reality, the search for a true friend, or dealing with betrayal and trust, Hamlet’s struggles becomes our struggles, and this is what has allowed it to stand the test of time.
What makes the human race so much more different than other animals is that we can show our emotions much easier than others. When we are sad we cry, angry we yell, or happy we smile. Although this is a benefit it is also a problem. These emotions allow us to decide whom we care for and whom we do not. When a loved one betrays you it can take a toll on your life and can have far reaching consequences. In some circumstances it may even lead to mental illnesses like suicide or madness. This is a major human condition that overwhelms us, but also Hamlet and Ophelia throughout the play. From the beginning Hamlet discovers that his uncle Claudius has betrayed him by murdering his father and even committing adultery with his mother. Hamlet loved his father deeply and thought the world of him. Along with this Hamlet trusted his mother and could not believe his mother would have an affair with such a man and then marry him so soon. He explains his anger to Gertrude by telling her she as committed “A bloody deed; almost as bad, good mother, as kill a king and marry with his brother” (Act 3, Scene 4). He was devastated when he heard that his uncle had done this and after speaking with his fathers ghost, Hamlet set out on a mission to revenge his father’s murder. Hamlet originally did not like Claudius but he was family, and thus he trusted family. Although Hamlet explains that he is going to merely act mad as a plan to get his revenge, his madness begins to overwhelm him and he soon becomes truly mad. Ophelia is also another victim of betrayal and trust. She is used and abused by them men in her life, and nobody truly shows they care about her until it is too late. Her father, like many fathers in real life, is over protective of her. He does not allow her to be with Hamlet and even lies to her by telling her Hamlet doesn’t love her. She wishes she could be with Hamlet but knows she cannot. Although it was truly an accident, Hamlet then betrays Ophelia by killing her father. She loved Hamlet sincerely and thought she could trust him but after she discovers he murdered her father she does not know whom to trust anymore. These two men, along with her brother Laertes returning and not visiting her, lead her to death. She cannot trust anyone any longer and she ends up committing suicide to eliminate the pain. Both Hamlet and Ophelia demonstrate how the betrayal and trust of others in life can be detrimental to an individual’s mental state. The audience is able to make this connection and it reaches out to them teaching them a valuable life lesson.
As human beings we also have the natural urge to find a companion. Whether it is a friend or a lover, it is merely impossible for one to live through life without somebody to rely on. In the play Hamlet we are able to see the affect a friend can have on somebody and