Hamlet: Passion Versus Reason


Hamlet was a Shakespeare play that is considered to be the longest, most influential and powerful tragedies in the literature. The protagonist is a prince who is the son of recently the deceased King Hamlet and nephew of the murdered King Claudius and later a husband of his mother. Throughout the play, they are the need for people to balance between reason and passion as it is underlined in the play. The play comments on hidden power by a human being to put emotions over logic, through a gradual process of hamlets actions.

Passion versus Reason

Hamlet first three acts can make the audience understand most of the underlying themes that Shakespeare alluded too. Through the first half of the play, the most prominent theme is the need for the balance between reason versus passion. Shakespeare explains the results of a steady and gradual combination of reason and passion in the life of Prince Hamlet. In the play, Hamlet encounters his dead father's spirit and agrees to find and avenge his father's killer at the hands of newly crowned Prince Claudius. They are revenge in the play between the two character but Hamlet is overly consumed with his actions. We are subjected to the intrusion of passion in hamlets plan to avenge his father's murderer when he denies not having any love feelings for Ophelia with his continued verbal mistreatment to humiliate her. He also embarrasses his mother verbally after she marries her former husband killer. Hamlet kills Polonius accidentally thinking he was King Claudius, and this instant emphasises the proportionality in hamlet’s passion versus reason since he didn’t give his mind any time to go through the situation before rushing into taking someone’s life.

The view on human interaction

Hamlet tries to justify his actions against Polonius and his mother as minor causalities on his quest for revenge. The unravelling progression of the gravities and dangers of hamlet’s action explains the ability in which human let emotion rule over reasons and the negative effects that can occur. That instance when Claudius is trying to pray to God asking for forgiveness but is unable to finish, Prince Hamlet had attempted killing him but opted not to do so after searching his mind. Hamlet was able to avoid making a rash action. Shakespeare was able to illustrate to us the positive consequences of choosing reason over passion. During that particular time, religion was the most important part of humanity and Claudius inability to ask for forgiveness showed his inherent evil and his downfall.

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