Melancholy possesses Hamlet in a way that makes us feel he must of been very close with his father. His relationship with him must of been one very personal as he doesn’t mention any specifics regarding their time together, yet he does give us a glimpse of how hard this loss hit him, “I have that within which passes show, these but the trappings and the suits of woe.” Hamlet is telling us that what he feels is something beyond what can be demonstrated. Perhaps he is bitter because he never got to say a final goodbye, or maybe he is struck by the thought of never seeing his living face again when he mentions : “I shall not look upon his like again.” Whatever it is, the young Hamlet we meet in this play is a much different one than the one we might have met in Wittenberg. Hamlet basically shuts down. He gives up school, “forgoes all customs of exercise”, and becomes a murderer. If by chance Hamlet were to survive the action of the play and be tried for the murder of Claudius and Polonius, his defense would be laughable. I think this play can be a cautionary tale that when we suffer “outrageous fortune” we need to pause and consider our next course of action, before we become a version of ourselves we don’t recognize.


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