In Act One, I thought it was foolish for the watchmen to get Horatio for the ghost to talk to. It is interesting because before reading this play, I assumed that only Hamlet saw the ghost, and to find out others could see him too makes things very interesting yet very dangerous for Hamlet. But back to my point, the watchmen, simpletons, must call Horatio, a scholar to talk to a ghost. Give me a break! I don’t think that there is a very high intelligence requirement and that a simpleton may be better because the ghost may confide better in a common person, then a learned person who stands to gain from the information the ghost may have to bestow. Horatio, being intelligent, could manipulate the information somehow. Furthermore, I do not find it plausible that a ghost needs a well educated person to talk to. It is stupid, and makes me think of my parents who have not finished college, yet they know much more than me who is on the journey. There is world experience that they chose to ignore and focus on education. While I think education is vital to the existence of a better world, I also stand by the belief of we are learning all the time and some life lessons are taught outside the classroom.
They are desperately trying to pull out a meaning for why the ghost is here and what it wants to say. Again, for the time frame the symbol of a ghost meant trouble. I am glad I learned that because I was thinking, why are they spending all this time? Another thing that bothers me is this soap opera. Claudius marries Gertrude. Yuck. Why you ask? Because Claudius was old Hamlet’s brother who is dead. So he married his brother’s wife. They all wonder, why Hamlet is so upset? Hello, red flag! Then, Hamlet suddenly has something else on his mind because Horatio tells him of the ghost in full armor is his father! I think Shakespeare invented the Sophisticated Soap Opera. In this Soap Opera, Hamlet finds out from his father, the ghost, that he did not die but was murdered! By Claudius. Hamlet’s world keeps getting worse. I really feel badly for him.
In the Second Act, there is an unbelievable amount of manipulation I cannot stand or wrap my head around. Claudius is such a jerk and a terrible stepfather. I don’t understand why it is not okay for Hamlet to have feelings and just be human. I get it, he is the prince. He must be normal at all times. Everyone is pushing Hamlet and I feel like no one is on his side. They want him to behave normally to save face and not because they actually care about his well being and that makes me furious because I can completely relate. I have a medical condition that physically manifests itself and my mom hurries me inside. But this is not to help me or calm me down I discovered. I think it is wrong to hide pain and emotions, but in this play and in my real life hiding emotions is a big part of life. Everyone does it, pretending things are fine when they are not. It is a dangerous game that everyone plays, everyone except Hamlet. I admire him for being a male and not being this annoying macho guy who hides everything.
In the Third Act things get really interesting when Hamlet has a play put on to extract guilt from Claudius. He needs the proof. The ghost wasn’t enough for him. In some ways this is clever. But I think, why the proof? However, I was delighted when Claudius left very upset and Hamlet knew he was guilty. There is one part of Act 3 that I disagree with. Hamlet has a chance to kill Claudius, but because Claudius is praying Hamlet does not kill him, because if he kills him and he is absolve of his sin Claudius will go to heaven and Hamlet wants him to burn in hell for what he has done. Since I have not come across such circumstances, I do not know what I would do. Truly, I do not think I have the ability to harm another individual let alone commit murder. I worship peace and the value that violence solves another. Isn’t it sick then how suddenly I am cheering Hamlet to get this revenge that is eating away at him? How I am suddenly morphing into this monster that approves of murder? I just discovered that it is easy to tell someone else to go ahead and do awful things. When it comes to it, it is just a play, isn’t it? However, maybe this behavior of immediately saying Claudius should die begs the question; do two wrongs may a right? Does Hamlet killing his uncle repair the fact that Hamlet’s father was killed? There are moral dilemmas that are very deep here that Hamlet probably ponders as well.
Acts Four and Five
So I was just pondering the many facets of murder in my previous journal. How it is something I could never do. I hope it would never come to a point where I would have to decide between killing someone and them killing me. It is the ultimate cold act, to take a human life. And mostly importantly, how Hamlet ponders and pours over not only whether to kill Claudius, but how to kill him and when he is praying was not the time because he would not burn in Hell. Then suddenly, a monkey wrench is thrown in all my thoughts when the castle is in turmoil because Hamlet has killed Polonius because he was hiding behind a curtain and Hamlet just stabs him. What happened to contemplation and carefully planning out your steps, Hamlet? You just stab someone who is hiding and then drag them out of the castle? This is madness. Hamlet in pretending to be crazy seems to really have lost all his marbles. Maybe since it was the queen’s chambers he assumed it was the king listening in on his conversation. Well, it was not, and Hamlet has killed someone. He has committed that act that I wondered about myself, and I was even cheering for him to do. Now, Hamlet is to be sent to England? What if he just kills more people? His behavior is irrational and this is a tragedy after all. Maybe he has really snapped.
Now, the Final Act is occurring. I have been waiting so long to see what happens. I don’t believe Gertrude deserved to die. She did not know about the plot. Throughout the play, while she does not speak out for Hamlet, she does act like a loving mother. So, she married Claudius her late husband’s brother. People do crazy things in grief. Maybe she had a motivation I do not yet understand but I do not believe she should have died. She should not have been around for the fight period. I don’t understand what she was doing there. It seems being a woman would have played to her favor. Maybe one would say, “Oh, this is no place for a woman!” She didn’t need to be there. This just speaks of Claudius and his character and if he wanted his wife out of danger he would have made sure she was.