Essay on Hamlet’s Understanding of Life and Death

Essay on Hamlet’s Understanding of Life and Death

Consider any of the following statements/questions as possible paper topics. You may use any of them. In your paper, please include some source material [textual evidence], issues about all of these characters, symbolic imagery [food, disease], plot issues, atmosphere, and tone.

1. What kind of a man is Polonius? Is he a loveable character? A villain? A fool? Should we detest him? Pity him? And finally, how does Hamlet seem to see him? See Act II, scene ii.

2. What does Hamlet’s first soliloquy reveal about the Prince’s state of mind?

3. How do Claudius, Laertes, Fortinbras and Horatio help to define Hamlet for us?

4. Hamlet’s speech to Horatio in Act V, scene ii [“There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow…”] refers to what, exactly? What is Hamlet telling his friend and how does this relate to his seeming renewed/mature understanding of life and death?


Tragedies after tragedies, Hamlet finds himself lost, confused, and depressed. Throughout the story, Hamlet had been experiencing problems that made him lose interest in life and is considering death.

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