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The Nature of Humans

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Grace Leung

on 19 May 2010

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Transcript of The Nature of Humans

Human Nature by Grace Leung William Shakespeare’s Hamlet exhibits many sides of human nature and is a good exemplar to demonstrate how, if uncontrolled, can affect humans’ judgment, mindset, and alter moral values.

Following the ghost’s revelation, events take place that reveal a negative side to the human being. Polonius, Hamlet, and Claudius featured a side of human nature that was detrimental to themselves, their family, and friends.
P O L O N I U S exhibits selfishness and excessive ambition

selfishly motivated to be close to the king

his nosiness and inability to mind his own
business results in his death

“Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell;
I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune;
Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger.” –Hamlet (III.iv.31-34)

“Mother, good night indeed: this counselor
Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,
Who was in life a foolish prating knave.”
–Hamlet (III.iv.213-215)



H A M L E T characterizes vengefulness, anger, procrastination and cowardice
procrasinates greatly in avenging his father
his vengefulness paved a path for his death
realizes his cowardice when he discovers Fortinbras will readily sacrifice his men in pursuit of honour
shows no respect for his mother; he mocks her, speaks harshly



“Now might I do it pat, now a’ is a-praying;
And now I’ll do it, and so he goes to heaven,
And so am I reveng’d. That would be scann’d;”
–Hamlet (III.iii.73-75)
" " " " “To be, or not to be – that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die – to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to.”
– Hamlet (III.i.56-63)
" " “Queen: Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
Hamlet: Mother, you have my father much offended.
Queen: Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.
Hamlet: Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.”
- Hamlet (III.iv.9-121)
" " “How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.”
– Hamlet (IV.iv.33-35)
" " C L A U D I U S a true representation of avarice, envy, lust, and gluttony, four of the seven deadly sins
jealous of his brother’s possessions, his beautiful wife, intelligent son, and his kingdom
greed drove Claudius to kill his own brother
heavy drinker, proposes lots of toasts, and ultimately falls under his own poisoned cup of wine: “blowt king”
succumbs to his insatiable sexual appetite despite the incest



“Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him
Together with remembrance of ourselves.”
– Claudius (I.ii.1-7)
" " “Let the blowt king tempt you again to bed,
Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse,
And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses,
Or paddling in your neck with his damn’d fingers.”
–Hamlet (III.iv.182-187)
" " Arguably one of the most famous plays by Shakespeare, Hamlet is a play chock full of drama, suspense, and tension. It is a great tool to analyze and study the human nature as the play can connect to each and every one of us, as the play effectively characterizes greed, vengefulness, and self-centeredness through Claudius, Hamlet, and Polonius. Thomas Hobbes said that the philsophies of
Socrates and Plato, who thought humans were wise, good, virtuous
and altruistic, were hopelessly naive and unrealistic. He maintained that
human nature is about appetites, desires, and self-interest. Question!
Do you think death was too high of a price for Polonius to pay, just because he wanted to know things? Why/why not? Another question!
They say that two wrongs don't make a right. Is Hamlet's vengefulness, cowardice, and procrastination justified in killing the king? Ok... last question.
What is it that makes people want more and more, like Claudius?
Full transcript