Hamlet Essay Example: Life Is the Sum of Your Choices

Published: 2019-10-04
Hamlet Essay Example: Life Is the Sum of Your Choices
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  English literature Literature Shakespeare Hamlet
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 590 words
5 min read

In the novel Hamlet by Shakespeare, most people make choices which define their afterlife. Hamlet is obsessed with the notion to kill, but he wonders if he makes that choice what will be the aftermath. He does ask himself many questions regarding what happens to kings when they die, do they have a free pass to heaven. It is a choice that he has to make whether to kill or not to. To Hamlet, the idea of dying isnt real bad. To him what matters is the uncertainty of the afterlife which frightens him away from suicide. I do agree with Auden statement that life is the sum of your choices. The essay, therefore, seeks to illustrate that life is a sum of choices from the play Hamlet by William shake sphere.

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Individual free will only guide the choices which are chosen by Hamlet, that are eventually leading to his demise. While mourning his father, Hamlet chooses to take excessive time as is shown by others (I.ii.99-100). At this time of mourning, he meets with his fathers soul which he assures to avenge the death of his father. Upon reflection, however, he interrogates the ghosts messages validity. At this point, he makes the choice with the plan of action showing that it is the kings fault (V.ii.340). He freely makes a choice of the plan to slay Polonius, Laertes, Claudius, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, Ophelia and himself. This sum of choices guides his life.

Hamlet is subpoenaed to the chambers of his mother following the mousetrap performance. He argues with Gertrude on the intents of his performance and the motives for desiring to anguish the king pliably; Hamlet slays Polonius (III.iv.27-28). Hamlet possibly did not recognize who he was slaying. Thou vile, intruding fool, rash, farewell!/ I grabbed thee for the better (III.iv.38-39)! With this, Hamlet thought that he was slaying the king. Hamlet makes the choice to kill by his individual thoughts, hands, and action. The choice he does make pronounces him to be the tool of vengeance.

Hamlet lacks time to mull over his choices. The king himself has his individual plans to get free of Hamlet. Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet are both sent to England by the king. The sentencing papers are revised by Hamlet effusively aware that Guildenstern and Rosencrantz would be executed.

Hamlet if faced with Laertes rage at the arrival in Ophelias funeral. The death of Polonius is blamed on Hamlet by Laertes and the ensuing Ophelia suicide. Again, the both deaths were as a result of the choices that were made by Hamlet, lashing Ophelia insane and Polonius murder.

The queen dies from the poison that she drinks, and Laertes acknowledges the whole incident implicating Claudius. At this point, Hamlet makes a choice of killing the man who murdered his father. Even though he was presented with the numerous opportunities erstwhile to this, he made a choice to delay until the right instant presented itself so as to make his retribution saccharine. With the completion of his mission, though, mortally wounded, Hamlet requests for the remaining poisoned wine so as to hasten his demise. He dies in peace expressive that his retribution has stood taken and that Claudius will rest a sinful guy. The death and revenge of Hamlet are both tied to the choices that he made in his plans that he executed to slay Claudius and therefore life is a sum of choices.


Robertson, J. M., & Clutton-Brock, A. (2014). Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. London: Routledge.

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