Hamlet is one of the greatest dramatic character ever created. From the moment we meet the crestfallen prince we are enraptured by his elegant intensity. Hamlet is a man of radical contradictions — he is reckless yet cautious, courteous yet uncivil, tender yet ferocious. What can we learn from Hamlet and his experience?
To be or not to be
Hamlet is not a version of our best self, let alone our authentic humanity, but what is worst and most selfish in human. Shakespeare forces us to stare at that which we do not want to look. Hamlet is a kind of camera obscura that presents us with a true picture of the world in its inverted form. Hamlet mysterious inner life, his roller coaster of emotions, his struggle to figure out what to do with his life, his conflicted feelings… He is asking himself questions like: Who shall I be? How do I become? What highest value(s) ought I aspire toward? What is the end and aim of life?
world is a stage
“The world is a prison,” Hamlet sighs. This is not just a statement of his mental state. Shakespeare’s play is also a drama of surveillance. Everyone is being watched.
globe is theater
“Stay, Illusion!” Illusion is the only means to action. The only thing that can save us in this distracted globe is theater. The only truth is found in illusion.
Learning to cope and fight back – constructing goals to focus on
Learning to cope and fight back is about constructing goals to focus on, and summoning up an indomitable positive spirit towards achieving those goals, which ultimately is what Hamlet does.
Seeking revenge is never the answer
King Hamlet was apparently a great king, husband, and father, yet when he appeared as a ghost and demanded that his son avenge his death. King Hamlet isn’t interested in the well-being of his wife and son; he only wants revenge on his brother Claudius for robbing him of his life, his throne, and his bride. While Hamlet, the loyal son, wants to get revenge, he is very slow in exacting it, questioning everything, because seeking revenge is never the answer.
Fear of the unknown keeps us from improving
Shakespeare captures our dilemma. Fear of the unknown keeps us from improving ourselves. We imagine all the things that can go wrong and we believe that they will happen. Probably all at once.
POWER OF INTROSPECTION
Hamlet’s perpetual introspection does finally help him to overcome his great anxiety. When he returns from exile in Act V, we see a very different Hamlet. He is calm, rational, and less afraid of death than merely indifferent.
What are we going to change, today?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And lose the name of action.
We start with good intentions, but along the way sometimes we lose our resolution to act, to change. And with it, we loose our opportunity to break out of the rut and to make realy good things in our life.