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A Man Without Feeling

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A Man Without Feeling

Is Hamlet capable of feeling? In Shakespeare's Hamlet the author creates a world of appearance vs. reality. Part of this world is Hamlet who becomes perplexed by what he must do: which is to avenge his fathers' death. However Hamlet is incapable of experiencing the feelings he should. Thus has to put on an act for everyone around him to appear normal. Another endeavor Hamlet has to deal with is his relationship with Ophelia. He chooses to disregard the relationship by pretending that there is no basis for it and that it was based on false pretences. He is forced to act this way because he has no other choice. Hamlet cannot experience any true emotions and so he does not know what he truly feels towards Ophelia. In the end Hamlet has to make the ultimate sacrifice to maintain his appearance as a good and noble prince- his life. He avenges his father's death and returns everything to how it once was. However Hamlet does not do this because he knows it is what should be done or because he truly feels compelled to do it by his passion or his reason, but because it is what would be expected and what others would do. Hamlet cannot feel and therefore has to put on an act during the entire play.

A predominant theme in this play is how appearance contrasts with reality. Where reality represents the truth an true emotions and appearance has the connotation of deception and false emotions or a lack there of. All of the characters put on an appearance except those who have nothing to hide, in this case everyone except Horatio and Fortinbrass. Now Hamlet admits that he is putting on an act during the play, and in numerous scenes his deception of those around him can clearly be noted. Yet if Hamlet is suppose to represent a hero why does he put on an act, since he should have nothing to hide? He does this for the simple reason that he does not know what he should do based purely on what he feels, since he feels nothing. The way he acts is navigated by those who Hamlet views as noble leaders, Fortinbras, Alexander the Great, Caesar and of coarse his father. "I find thy apt;/ And duller shouldst be than the fat weed/ That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,/ Wouldst thou not stir in this."(William Shakespeare, Hamlet, act 1, scene 5, line 38-41)- these are the words of late King Hamlet to his son, before thy father's spirit tells of his murder. In these words



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