How Does Shakespeare Convey the Complexities of the Human Condition in Hamlet? - Essay Prowess

How Does Shakespeare Convey the Complexities of the Human Condition in Hamlet?


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How Does Shakespeare Convey the Complexities of the Human Condition in Hamlet?

A complex person is one who possess qualities that are mostly considered to be extraordinary. This person possesses qualities such as being a creative thinker, unpredictable, ability to adapt to challenges, goal-oriented, and being disciplined in the pursuit of what he or she decides to pursue. This essay paper will focus on ways that Shakespeare conveys the human condition complexities in the Hamlet.
Figurative language is used during Hamlet’s verbal exchange with Polonius where he relates the shape of the cloud to that of a camel to which Polonius responds that indeed it looks like a camel by mass. Their conversation continues to comparing the shape of the cloud to that of a weasel and a whale (Brayton, 2012). Shakespeare uses Hamlet to creatively describe the shape of the clouds. This gives the reader a vivid picture of the shape of the cloud in reference to the shape of a camel, weasel, and whale. The figure of a living animal has been used to describe the shape of the cloud. Human complexity qualities have been used to creatively relate the shape of the cloud to that of an animal.
According to Stockton (2011, p. 111), “Man must choose between good and evil and this poses a challenge to him even though he has a determined will. Though fate will prevail, Hamlet has to face his trials so that he turns to be the master of his own choices.” The theme of fate prevails but Hamlet’s choices determine if and how it will overcome him through death. Human beings possess qualities that make them to be proud and confident that whatever cause of action they undertake making them ready for the consequences. Hamlet knew that the choices he made would have repercussions. Complexity in human beings has been used to show that man has the ability to adapt and face challenges and in the end become masters of their own destiny regardless of a tragic ending.
In Hamlet, women play the subordinate position where their lives are controlled by their male counterparts like their fathers and husbands. They diligently follow what they are told without questioning the decisions made. Ophelia is portrayed to be a sweet, loving, innocent, and obedient woman who is overtaken by fate of a tragic death. She suffers from isolation, abuse and a dramatic death. This is because her rights were restricted legally, socially and economically. (Ekici, 2009). Her good character is does not save her from the tragedies that befall her as a result of her interaction with the unpredictable male characters. The complexities of human condition do not always play in the favor of a good person due to its unpredictability qualities of human nature as was the case of Ophelia.
In conclusion, the complexities of human condition have been used through the use of figurative language, theme of fate and destiny, and by characterization of Ophelia. Hamlet figuratively compares the shape of a cloud to that of a camel, weasel, and a whale in a creative way. The theme of fate is used in the life of Hamlet where he is conscious of the actions that he chooses to undertake and is prepared for the consequences of his actions. Ophelia was characterized as a good and obedient woman but the unpredictability of the human complexities led to her miserable life and tragic death.

Brayton, D. (2012). Shakespeare’s ocean: An ecocritical exploration. University of Virginia
Ekici, S. (2009). Feminist criticism: Female characters in Shakespeare’s plays Othello and
Hamlet. Grin Verlag.
Stockton, C. L. (2011). Cliffsnotes on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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