Tuesday, October 11, 2011

(Don't) Be Hamlet

                When life hits a road block many people use the phrase: “I wish I could just die”. While this is used as an exaggeration in most, if not all cases, we don’t understand the actually meaning of this sentence. Many students, including myself, are prone to using such embellished language in order to make it sound more dramatic and interesting. Hamlet on the other hand is feeling true sorrow and pain to the point where suicide is a plausible option. However, I do not believe in Hamlet’s decision to even consider actually killing himself no matter how much grief he is experiencing. While his circumstances may be horrible at the moment, I have known so many others that have gone through more and come out stronger and happier due to the incident(s).

                There is a point in everyone’s life when things get difficult. They obviously vary in their degree of severity, but every human goes through series of obstacles. From every aspect of Hamlet’s life, problem after problem is thrown in his path. From his uncle/step-father allegedly killing his father, his mother marrying said alleged murderer and his love with Ophelia being rejected. To say is life is unpleasant at the moment is an understatement. While I can relate to Hamlet’s feeling of distress, I cannot fathom his reasoning to consider suicide as a way to end the chaos. He could be in a much more perilous state and yet he pities himself past the point of logic. One of my closest friends has battle and beaten brain cancer. She went through the works: radiation, chemotherapy, staying in hospitals for weeks at times and so much more. Not only did she have to deal with being diagnosed with cancer, her parents were going through a nasty divorce, so she did not have the full family support that she needed. Yet here she is today, healthy and happily living a normal life. She was a fighter and never thought of giving up and letting cancer take her life. I asked her once why she never even considered just giving up and living the last months of her life to the fullest and she replied “that would be just too easy”. Maybe my friend has a characteristic that Hamlet does not possess, but the fact still remains that he needs to grow up and realize his life is not worth giving up.

                Hamlet circumstances may be bad yes, but is it really worth his death? Why can’t he be the bigger man and move on with his life? When misfortunes seem to haunt my every move, I like to picture the scenarios where I overcome everything and I look back at all my foes with a grin of satisfaction—an “in your face” sort of deal. Then, with my new found motivation, I set out and “avenge” my enemies in such a manner. Hamlet could simply best his uncle as a king, thus proving Claudius was incapable ruler. He could dedicate his achievements during his kingship to his deceased father. He could also move on from Ophelia and show her what she missed out on. This I know sounds all too easy, but if you stick your mind to it, nothing is impossible. While my perspective is dripping with happy optimism, if you just sit down and think about his problems, are they that grave as to kill one’s self? Suicide is such an extreme measure that if you do consider such a death, life truly must not be getting better. I don’t feel as if Hamlet’s life is in such a state and his dilemma over “to be or not to be” is him being overly dramatic like how most teenagers would be in this era.

                In no way am I trying to undersell Hamlet’s troubles. They are depressing matters that anybody would mourn about. Hamlet’s dilemma of whether or not to kill him though is so extreme; I can hardly understand his logic behind it. Life is hard. Are you going to be a fighter or just give up? The obstacles that are thrown in your way only make stronger if you manage to get by. If Hamlet were to take such a “easy” route, feelings of disappointment and compassion would arise in me. If Hamlet were king of my country, I would want someone who is courageous and strong and lead my battle into victory! Not some kid that can’t get back on his feet.

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