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Conflict in Hamlet

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Michelle Lander

on 19 November 2012

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Transcript of Conflict in Hamlet

The Conflicts Throughout Shakespeare’s "Hamlet", the main character Hamlet goes through many conflicts. And all of these conflicts it leads to the traumatic ending.

I am going to focus on
4 that happen in "Hamlet". Claudius Conflict Claudius conflict –
One conflict Hamlet faces is killing Claudius, his uncle who killed his father to become king. This is the main conflict that is dragged out throughout the whole play. The ghost of Hamlet’s father tells Hamlet about how he was betrayed and murdered in his sleep by Claudius. He wants Hamlet to take revenge for him by killing Claudius. After Hamlet’s encounter with his father’s ghost, he keeps going back and forth on whether to do what the ghost says. He handled the situation very cowardly, instead of killing Claudius right away he came up with excuses to stall the event. Such as having a play that represented his father’s death to test if Claudius really killed King Hamlet and saying he will not kill a man while he is praying, He fights with himself in the “To be or not to be” speech.
“And so’a goes to heaven;
And so am I reveng’d. That would be scann’d:
A villain kills my father, and for that
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.
Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge.” (3.3 74-79)

Here Hamlet is stating that if he killed Claudius while he is praying that he is not fulfilling his father’s
deed, because instead of Claudius being sent to hell when Hamlet kills him, he will be sent to heaven since
he is praying.
Ophelia Conflict Because of the main conflict, Hamlet had to sabotage his relationship with Ophelia, the woman he loved. Before King Hamlet’s death, Hamlet was crazy in love with Ophelia, sending her love letters and such. He had to throw it away and act insane because that was “a part of his plan”. In Act 3 Scene 1, Hamlet is approached by Ophelia and she gives him back the “remembrances” that Hamlet gave to her before his father’s death. He starts yelling at Ophelia, saying I did love you once”, “I love you not”. The Hamlet who is talking to Ophelia is not the same Hamlet that she fell in love with. Gertrude Conflict Another minor conflict within Hamlet is Hamlet’s mother, the queen. It deeply disturbed Hamlet that his mother had married his uncle a month after his father’s death. It also bothered Hamlet that his mother showed no grief for her husband’s death and that she moved on so quickly. Also, this opinion depends on the way you view Hamlet, but it was also a conflict because of his distorted, sexual feelings towards his mother.
“O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason
Would have mourn’d longer – married with my uncle,
My father’s brother – but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules. Within a month,
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married – O most wicked speed! To post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.” (1.2 150-159)
Here Hamlet is simply stating how troubled he is that his mother married so quickly after his
father’s death. And that she grieved so little, not even enough to make her eyes red and
puffy from crying.
King Hamlet's Ghost
Conflict King Hamlet appears before Hamlet one night and informs Hamlet of his death. It trouble’s Hamlet’s mind when he is appointed the task of killing his uncle. It is very confusing when you think if Hamlet was acting insane if he really was insane, because of the ghost of his father could have caused his mind to go into a panic and make him start acting in strange ways. Or he could have been acting to be insane to follow through with his father’s plan. Either way it was from the influence of King Hamlet’s ghost that caused even more conflict in Hamlet.

“Do you see nothing there?”
“Nothing at all; yet all that is I see”
“Nor did you nothing hear?”
“No, nothing but ourselves.”
“Why, look you there, look how it steals away.
My father, in his habit as he liv’d!
Look where he goes even now without a portal.” (3.4 132-138)

In this quote is where I started to suspect that Hamlet was truly insane, because his mother couldn’t see nor hear the ghost of King Hamlet. Plus as the last line says “Look where he goes now without a portal.” The portal refers to when ghosts were supposed to come out, which is at midnight, and Hamlet’s father appeared before him in well daylight. This gives me all the more reason to think that Hamlet was insane, yet still under the influence of his dead father.
Conflict in Hamlet Conclusion There are some conflicts that I didn't mention, like the betrayal of Hamlet's friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, or Polonius's death sending Ophelia over the edge, or the simple fact that Hamlet lost his father and all these events occurred while he was still grieving over his father's death.

In the end, without any of the conflicts that were mentioned the ending of Hamlet would be totally different. Without the persuasion of King Hamlet's ghost killing Claudius would never have crossed Hamlet's mind. And if Claudius never killed King Hamlet in the first place non of the events given would have taken place. The End
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