Hamlet Project

Garrett, Kaleigh, Julia, and Chazmyn

Hamlet contemplates suicide multiple times, but never does it. Is he truly afraid of the consequences or does he feel he has unfinished business on Earth?

Group Opinion: Hamlet is afraid of the consequences that come along with suicide more than he feels like he has unfinished business.

Act 1, Scene 2 - Garrett

“O that this too too solid flesh would melt,

Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!

Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d

His canon ’gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable

Seem to me all the uses of this world!

Fie on’t! O fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,

That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature

Possess it merely. That it should come to this!

But two months dead!—nay, not so much, not two:

So excellent a king; that was, to this,

Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother,

That he might not beteem the winds of heaven

Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!

Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him

As if increase of appetite had grown

By what it fed on: and yet, within a month,—

Let me not think on’t,—Frailty, thy name is woman!—

A little month; or ere those shoes were old

With which she followed my poor father’s body

Like Niobe, all tears;—why she, even she,—

O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason,

Would have mourn’d longer,—married with mine uncle,

My father’s brother; but no more like my father

Than I to Hercules: within a month;

Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears

Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,

She married:— O, most wicked speed, to post

With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!

It is not, nor it cannot come to good;

But break my heart,—for I must hold my tongue.”

- (Act 1, Scene 2)

Defense: This is the first quote by Hamlet when he begins to contemplate suicide. Hamlet feels like suicide seems like a desirable alternative to a dreadful life. The only thing that makes him rethink his decision is his religious beliefs. He will later doubt these beliefs on and off throughout the play. He then describes that his cause of pain is his mother and uncles incestrous marriage. He compares his father to Claudius, basically saying that King Hamlet was a great king and Claudius could never be as great as he was.

Act 1, Scene 2 - Garrett

“Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not "seems."

'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother, Nor customary suits of solemn black, Nor windy suspiration of forced breath, No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, Nor the dejected havior of the visage, 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 passeth show; These but the trappings and the suits of woe.”

- Act 1, Scene 2

Defense: Hamlet explains that anyone can express a fake outward emotion of grief through body language. Hamlet explains to his mother that he is not faking his grief and that it is very real. He explains that what he feels is the deepest kind of grief. This deep grief brings out the negative side of Hamlet. Looking at the world in a negative way causes Hamlet to be depressed and contemplate suicide and death many times throughout the play. He never commits suicide because he is scared that his thoughts and emotions will haunt him forever.

Act 2, Scene 2 - Garrett

“I have of late but wherefore I know not lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame the earth seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o'er-hanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason; how infinite in faculties, in form and moving; how express and admirable in action; how like an angel in apprehension; how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals. And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”

- (Act 2, Scene 2)

Defense: Hamlet talks about how mankind is wicked and was once the most sublime of creatures; he now believes that humans are no better than the most ruthless and evil creatures. He talks about the worthlessness of man and their many lies. Hamlet is in deep melancholy and this is caused by his father’s death. Melancholy leads him to deny the hierarchy of heaven. These deep thoughts during his depressive state causes him to sway from his main goal of killing his uncle, King Claudius. He thinks his life is truly worthless. He doesn’t mention anything about suicide in this speech but we can assume that he is confused about mankind's intentions and doubts the afterlife.

Act 3, Scene 1 - Kaleigh

“Get yourself to a convent at once. Why would you want to give birth to more sinners? I’m fairly good myself, but even so I could accuse myself of such horrible crimes that it would’ve been better if my mother had never given birth to me.”

- Hamlet (Act 3, Scene 1)

Defense: Basically he is telling Ophelia to go to a nunnery, which means he is religious.

Act 3, Scene 1 - Kaleigh

“Get thee to a nunnery farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery go, and quickly too”

- Act 3, Scene 1

Defense: A nunnery is a word that refers to a convent. Hamlet basically calls Ophelia a whore by telling her that she needs to go to a nunnery right away. He does this because he loves her but he knows he can’t be with her. Hamlet doesn’t want her to be in any relationship because of his feelings for her. A nunnery is a religious building where nuns teach. A nun is a women of christian faith who lives under religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Hamlet says this because if he can’t have her he doesn’t want anyone else to distract her. This is another Hamlet quote that makes me believe that he was Christian.

Act 3, Scene 1 - Garrett

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;

No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause: there’s the respect

That makes calamity of so long life;

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,

The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,

The insolence of office and the spurns

That patient merit of the unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

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,

And enterprises of great pith and moment

With this regard their currents turn awry,

And lose the name of action.–Soft you now!

The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons

Be all my sins remembered.”

- Act 3, Scene 1

Defense: Life is full of pain, why do we continue to live when we could just kill ourselves and end the constant suffering? The only thing that stops people from killing themselves is the fear of the unknown. We choose life over the risk of possible damnation in hell. Hamlet thinks the reason why most suffering people don’t act upon killing themselves is because they think about death too much. He thinks that the constant obsession with what will come to a person after death is the reason why most don’t act upon their suicidal thoughts. He believes that these constant thoughts people have about death make cowards out of men. Since he has suicidal thoughts continually it delays his plan to revenge his father and kill King Claudius. Hamlet never commits suicide making him a coward of death by his own definition.

Act 3, Scene 3 - Kaleigh

“And am I then revenged to take him in the purging of his soul when he is fit and seasoned for his passage? No. Up sword, and know thou a more horrid hent.”

- Act 3, Scene 3

Defense: Hamlet intends to kill Claudius, when he finds Claudius after the play is over he is praying. Instead of killing him he decides to wait until he catched Claudius doing something sinful. The last thing Hamlet wants is to send the man who is guilty of his father’s death to heaven. Hamlet believes Claudius deserves to go to hell, and because of this we can assume that Hamlet is a christian. Christians believe that suicide is a sinful act that cannot be forgiven.

Act 4, Scene 3 - Julia

“In heaven. Send hither to see. If your messenger find him not there, seek him i' th' other place yourself. But if indeed you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.”

- Act 4, Scene 3

Defense: Hamlet is telling Claudius about where Polonius might be. Suggesting that Polonius is dead and is either heaven or hell for his actions. Portrays that Hamlet is a devout religious man and can’t commit suicide because he wouldn’t be deserving of a proper burial and spend eternity in hell.

Act 4, Scene 3 - Julia

“Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service—two dishes, but to one table. That’s the end.”

- Act 4, Scene 3

Defense: Hamlet is discussing the aftermath of a person’s body after death. In death there is no greatness in death, only equality for all.

Act 4, Scene 4 - Julia

“How all occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge! What is a man If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more. Sure, he that made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not That capability and godlike reason To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple Of thinking too precisely on th' event— A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom And ever three parts coward—I do not know

Why yet I live to say “This thing’s to do,” Sith I have cause and will and strength and means To do ’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me. Witness this army of such mass and charge Led by a delicate and tender prince, Whose spirit with divine ambition puffed Makes mouths at the invisible event, Exposing what is mortal and unsure To all that fortune, death, and danger dare, Even for an eggshell. Rightly to be great Is not to stir without great argument,

But greatly to find quarrel in a straw When honor’s at the stake. How stand I then, That have a father killed, a mother stained, Excitements of my reason and my blood, And let all sleep—while, to my shame, I see The imminent death of twenty thousand men,

That for a fantasy and trick of fame Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause, Which is not tomb enough and continent To hide the slain? Oh, from this time forth, My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!”

- Act 4, Scene 4

Defense: During this scene Hamlet has discovered that he’s wasting his life by not living it. He’s wondering why he hasn’t already committed his revenge if he has all the resources to do it. Also, I think Hamlet is afraid of what his consequences would be for the murders he blatantly says, “I do not know Why yet I live to say…” meaning he is unhappy with his life and he doesn’t know what he is living for. Also he’s saying, if he was still here for revenge he would have already done it by now.

Act 5, Scene 1 - Julia

“That skull had a tongue in it and could sing once. How the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain’s jawbone, that did the first murder! It might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'erreaches, one that would circumvent God, might it not?”

- Act 5, Scene 1

Defense: Hamlet is seeing the aftermath of the human body long after death and how some may disrespect the dead. This brings another realization to Hamlet, that one’s rank or social status in life isn’t nearly as important as the positive actions of one’s life.

Act 5, Scene 1 - Kaleigh

“That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain's jaw-bone, that did the first murder!”

- Act 5, Scene 1

Defense: Here, Hamlet is complaining that the gravedigger is being a little rough with the bones—only murderers deserve to be handled so roughly. This says a lot about our sensitive protagonist. Despite all his emo musings about death and suicide, Hamlet values life.

Act 5, Scene 1 - Chazmyn

Sounds more like “self-offense,” if you ask me. What I’m saying is, if she knew she was drowning herself, then that’s an act. An act has three sides to it: to do, to act, and to perform. Therefore she must have known she was drowning herself.”

- Act 5, Scene 1

Defense: Here one of the gravediggers talks about Ophelia’s death. Most people say that she accidentally drowned herself. In his opinion he feels like she meant too kill herself. He has a clear point that she must have known she was drowning herself. It tells you how split people were when it came too if she really meant to kill herself.

Act 5, Scene 1 - Chazmyn

“Doesn’t this guy realize what he’s doing? He’s singing while digging a grave.”

- Act 5, Scene 1

Defense: Hamlet is upset over a Gravedigger singing while digging a grave. He is really upset because he feels that isn’t the proper way for a person too be buried. Honestly it shouldn’t really matter as long as the job gets done. HAMLET wasn’t doing the hard work of burying her so he couldn’t complain.

Act 5, Scene 2 - Chazmyn

“Let four captains carry Hamlet like a soldier onto the stage. He would have been a great king if he had had the chance to prove himself. Military music and military rites will speak for his heroic qualities. Pick up the corpses. A sight like this suits a battlefield, but here at court it shows that much went wrong. Go outside and tell the soldiers to fire their guns in honor of Hamlet.”

- Act 5, Scene 2

Defense: Fortinbras feels like Hamlet deserved a proper burial. This last line of the play shows that Fortinbras had really respected Hamlet. It is a proper way too close out the play.