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Which Word does Hamlet Use to Describe Those Who Choose to Live?

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Hamlet does not see the value of human life. He thinks that those who decide to continue living are cowards. Pondering life and death in his key soliloquy, Hamlet comes to one conclusion. He thinks that only fear of what happens after passing stops people from suicide. It stops him as well.

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People are afraid to die because everyone is scared of the unknown. Hamlet has doubts about committing suicide; if the same suffering continues in the afterlife, there is no point in leaving this world.

From the beginning, in Act III, Scene 1, Hamlet expresses his ideas about “the undiscovered country.” It’s the place of death from where no one can return in his famous soliloquy.

The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought

Hamlet reflects on the futility of living and the cause of human fear. He concludes that people who chose to continue their suffering on the earth are frightened. They fear what they do not understand about dying. Though death is inevitable, the risk of death and the fear of life paralyze human resolve. Hamlet does not leave life for fear of death, but because he is afraid to be punished for his mistakes in another world. Hamlet is frightened that he will not find peace in the afterlife.

The thought of suicide haunts Hamlet. For him, it is a way to avoid taking action to revenge the death of his father. In Act III, Scene 1, in his main soliloquy, he thinks of death as a dream: a way to forget and hide from life. More than the desire to die, Hamlet is obsessed with forgetting and running away from an unbearable situation.

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IvyPanda. "Which Word does Hamlet Use to Describe Those Who Choose to Live?" November 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/which-word-does-hamlet-use-to-describe-those-who-choose-to-live/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Which Word does Hamlet Use to Describe Those Who Choose to Live?" November 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/which-word-does-hamlet-use-to-describe-those-who-choose-to-live/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Which Word does Hamlet Use to Describe Those Who Choose to Live'. 25 November.

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