How Hamlet Defines What It Means To Be Human

“What is a man if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed: a beast no more.” Hamlet is uttering probably the simplest yet most profound observation in the entire play. We as humans often approach our lives with a bestial perspective. We indulge in meals; we lust, and we enjoy idleness. But this is not what defines our species. Unlike other animals we have the gift of thought, imagination, reason and wit. When we fail to utilize these endowments, we are not living as human beings but merely as imposters of such; beasts trapped in humans’ bodies. Without such gifts we are not human. Hamlet is encouraging us to be as our creator intended: for a Noble purpose. If we neglect to use our unique faculties that define our ethereal essence, we are committing the sin of ingratitude as, “he that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and godlike reason to fust in us unused.” Attain life’s wonders to the zenith of an auspicious star. Don’t be like the hobby-horse; whose epitaph is: 

For O, for O: the hobbyhorse is forgot. 

Don’t just be for an age, but be FOR ALL TIME!

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3 thoughts on “How Hamlet Defines What It Means To Be Human

  1. Pingback: How Hamlet Defines What It Means To Be Human | Chistoso Para Adsense

  2. This is so interesting and well written. I know that Shakespeare’s characters continue to be relevant to our struggles, desires, our character, integrity and existential choices today. But this post beautifully ties Hamlet’s soul searching amidst such tragedy and calls on each of us to live up to our highest potential and according to our values. An important message indeed!

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