Hamlet Speech - 850 Words

The statement that “the more we read others’ opinions of a text, the more developed our own opinion of that text becomes” is true when in reference to William Shakespeare’s 1602 play Hamlet. To examine the relevance of this statement to the given text we must employ the use of historiography and explore how writing and critique on the text has developed through history and how the effect these writings have on us have changed over time. We must also reflect upon meaning in relation to context of the key themes within Hamlet and how this becomes interchangeable within society, and across many generations.
The cause of Hamlets inaction, or indeed indecisiveness, is argued about by readers of hamlet. According to psychologist and scholar John Orbell in his essay Hamlet and the psychology of rational choice under uncertainty, ‘Hamlet is shown to be a case of decision making under uncertainty, where the consequences of error are unthinkable and where a decision cannot be avoided.’   It is being stated here that Hamlet is entirely responsible for justice, or injustice and his actions and this furthers the viewers ability to understand the character of Hamlet and even emphasise with him, which readers previously were not able to do, such as Dr Johnson in 1765, who believed that Hamlets convictions and resulting intentions for others were “too horrible to be read or uttered”. Dr Johnson also pointed to Hamlets “useless and wanton cruelty” in his treatment of the females in the play and his misogynistic views, such as when he exclaims “frailty, thy name is woman”. Dr Johnson here is calling Hamlet selfish in action and overtly concerned with the situation rather than the individuals that have a right to exist unaffected by it. Hamlet as a character is subject to both reproach and admiration from academics and with their input it is possible for the reader to develop strong opinions about him as an individual.
That the self loathing inflicted by the modern man is the key...