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What conflict(s) does Hamlet Experience Inside Himself?

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Inner conflicts that Hamlet experiences are connected with the revenge for his father’s death. He tries to deal with grief and betrayal by his loved ones. In doing so, he contemplates life and death, religion, and duty.

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The central character in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet experiences many internal conflicts inside his head. It resulted from numerous traumas, betrayals, and tragic flaws in his past. The prince’s inner insecurities about right and wrong are due to his reaction to the external problems. The conflicts inside Hamlet’s mind contribute to creating obvious tension and influence his motivation.

One of the driven internal conflicts in Hamlet’s mind is suicide. The loss of his father, betrayal of friends, as well as his mother’s remarriage contributed to this idea. The emotional and melancholy nature of the protagonist is what drives suicidal thoughts. Hamlet cannot healthily deal with grief.

Yet, his promise to avenge King Hamlet was the prime reason to consider suicide. The Ghost’s appearance and unclear message upraise a new wave of uncertainty in the man’s mind. The protagonist experiences a Hamlet vs. the Ghost dilemma. He is eager to take revenge on Claudius for the murder of his father. However, he feels skeptical about the spirit’s message and demand. The thoughts of taking another life bring fear to Hamlet. Nonetheless, the duty to justify his father’s death influences his judgments.

Hamlet experiences conflict with himself regarding his anger and hatred. For a long time, the protagonist would fight his true feelings. He tried to shut down emotionally, not to experience fury and pain. Struggling to comprehend and live with his father’s death and mother’s levity, the protagonist suffers. Hamlet strives to condemn these feelings at first. Once the hero lets the grievances loose, the character changes.

As a result of this constant conflict of man vs. self, Hamlet shuts down his heart from those who genuinely love him. The betrayal of his closest people changed Hamlet’s perception of love. The inner conflicts do not allow Hamlet to open himself for pure love and the feeling of happiness. Constant uncertainty of the fight between good and evil he sees in people forbids him from it.

The theme of love continues to follow Hamlet. His internal struggle of whether to love or hate his mother leads to confusion. Such conflict is caused by the external factors of his mother’s soon marriage to her dead husband’s brother. On the one hand, Hamlet still loves his mother. On the other hand, he despises her neglecting the king’s memory and disregard for the traditions. As a result of these actions, it is hard for Hamlet to believe in love again. He has the internal conflict of whether love brings joy or suffering.

Throughout the play, Hamlet’s inner battles change the protagonist’s evident pattern. The audience can observe the character’s shift. A noble, intelligent, polite man changes as the tragic event unfolds.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'What conflict(s) does Hamlet Experience Inside Himself'. 25 November.

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