An introduction to Hamlet's problem

AuthorEsmeralda Subashi
Pages107-113
Vo
l.
6
N
o
.
3
N
ovember, 2020
ISS
N 2410-391
8
A
cces on
l
ine at www.ii
p
cc
l
.or
g
10
7
A
cademic Journal o
f
Business,
A
dministration, Law and Social Sciences
II
PCCL Publishin
g
, Graz-
A
ustria
“The time is out of joint:
O
cursed spite,
at ever
was
orn to set it ri
t!”
An introduction to Hamlet’s proble
m
Dr.
Es
m
e
r
alda
Subashi
Ab
str
a
ct
H
a
ml
et
,
the
f
amous tragedy by William Shakespeare is undoubtedly one o
f
the greatest
p
lays ever wri en in
E
nglish language and one of the most prominent literary works of all
world literature. For centuries, readers, critics and scholars alike have been
f
ascinated by the
e
nigmatic and mysterious character of Prince Hamlet, the play’s protagonist. They have been
trying to
nd the answer to the most puzzling question regarding Hamlet: Why does not
the Prince kill Claudius right away avenging thus his father’s death? - otherwise known as
H
amlet’s problem. For that purpose, many theories have been developed and many solutions
have been elaborated by the brightest people the world has ever known. This article a empts to
a
ddress the issue of Hamlet’s problem by introducing several critical interpretations provided
b
y the best literary minds the world has ever known and modestly endeavors to unfold the
p
erspective of its author regarding this topic.
Ke
y
words
:
murder, revenge, suicide, insanity, Hamlet’s problem
.
I
ntr
odu
ct
io
n
H
amlet, Prince o
f
Denmar
k
, William Shakespeare's most famous tragedy, was wri en,
k
as it is generall
y
believed, in 1601-1602 on the basis o
f
an
I
celandic saga, elaborated
by
Saxo Grammaticus, a Danis
h
p
oet an
d
h
istorian in
h
is 1
2
t
h
centur
y
Latin recount o
f
the histor
y
o
f
Denmark
Ges
t
a
D
a
n
o
r
u
m; later on translated b
y
François de Belle
f
orest
in
H
i
sto
i
res Trag
i
que
s
(1570); and in turn altered, develo
p
ed and embellished with
such bizarre cra
smanshi
p
it can be called both the most
p
o
p
ular and the most
p
ro
f
ound theatrical work
p
la
y
ed on stage. The
p
lot in a nutshell is this: Claudius
killed King Hamlet Senior o
f
Denmark while he was slee
p
ing, married his wi
f
e, and
u
sur
p
ed the throne o
f
Prince Hamlet Junior, his ne
p
hew. Prince Hamlet is in
f
ormed
of
this crime b
y
his
f
ather's ghost and swears to take revenge. To achieve the goal
w
ithout making his uncle sus
p
icious, Hamlet
p
retends to be insane and, a
er some
vicissitudes,
f
ul
lls the vow com
p
letel
y
.
P
rince Ham
l
et's
d
ut
y
is ver
y
c
l
ear: accor
d
ing to t
h
e me
d
ieva
l
tra
d
ition,
h
is
d
ut
y
is
to avenge his
f
ather’s death, who was treacherousl
y
murdered b
y
Claudius, King
H
amlet’s brother and Prince Hamlet’s uncle; according to the code o
f
honor, it is
H
amlet’s dut
y
to snatch his mother
f
rom the arms o
f
the one who killed her
rst
h
usband; accordin
g
to the law o
f
the state, as heir to the throne and as the le
g
itimate
king o
f
Denmark, he has the dut
y
to
p
unish a vile crime and to ascend the
p
aternal
t
h
rone w
h
ic
h
is
h
is
by
b
irt
h
rig
h
t an
d
w
h
ic
h
h
as
b
een ta
k
en awa
y
by
an usur
p
er;
according to the natural law o
f
sel
f
-de
f
ense, he is entitled to get rid o
f
the man who

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