Avoiding Pain

Reads: 421  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

In a review of the play "Hamlet", this essay reveals the natural conclusions of pain in our human lives.

 

In an effort to avoid inflicting or receiving pain, people resort to a subtle and slow form of aberration; in doing so we discover a method of living that is much easier, but also much less authentic. In the play, “Hamlet”, Shakespeare discusses some of the effects of pain. A healthy understanding of “Hamlet” plants a seed which, if watered, can help illustrate how pain turns into sadness and how that sadness eventually leads to apathy.

In one of Hamlet‘s opening lines, in Act I Scene II, he begins to express to his mother: “…Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief, That can denote me truly. These indeed, seem; for they are actions that a man might play; but I have that within which passes show—these but the trappings and the suits of woe.” (Shakespeare, 80-85). Hamlet shows an understanding for the distinction between the act of expressing sorrow, and the actual state of being sad.

Later on we discover also that Hamlet claims to act as though he is mad. All the while we have a sneaking suspicion that Hamlet in fact is possibly a bit on the mad side. Whether or not he is pretending to be mad, or is in fact crazy, we know that there is a difference between the two (at least when we study another’s life). We can make the assumption that this ‘madness’ is just the pain starting to ooze out of Hamlet.

In an analysis of sadness in Hamlet, J Keeping states that: “Hamlet finds himself to be diminished by the loss of his father, and the diminishment is so great that he himself can no longer maintain the integrity of his being.” (J Keeping, pg. 8). Isn’t that exactly what we feel like often times if we are truly honest with ourselves? We should suppose that Hamlet indeed cannot carry on without adequately dealing with his pain in some form.

When it comes down to it, this is the fork that we all find ourselves at. We may not have identical pains to that of Hamlet (or any other mythical figure), but real pains are even more complex and haunting then what Shakespeare can capture in his play. So, we either find time to take drastic measures with that ingrained-hole-in-our-heart, or we live out our lives in self-analgesia—plotting to ignore anything that might pain us. We must choose whether we prefer apathy or humility. Both options are immensely dangerous.

 

 

Secondary Citation:

 

J Keeping. ""OH THAT THIS TOO, TOO SOLID FLESH WOULD MELT": A PHENOMENOLOGY OF SADNESS IN SHAKESPEARE'S HAMLET. " Philosophy Today  52.2 (2008): 116-125. Platinum Full Text Periodicals. ProQuest.  Everett Community College Library,  Everett,  WA. 7 Feb. 2009 <http://www.proquest.com/>


Submitted: February 28, 2012

© Copyright 2021 SocratesJC. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Other Content by SocratesJC

Essay / Editorial and Opinion