Thursday Mar 13, 2003

A Beautiful Soul

Prince Hamlet must confront the duality of nature, murder, grief, and betrayal by his mother and uncle—little wonder then that he was troubled.

At the core of his thematic issue is this: What do you do when you know the truth and that the truth needs to be told?

Have you been there?

From Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare:

Hamlet’s uncle Claudius killed his own brother to become king.

His mother, Queen Gertrude, then hastily marries the murderer and new ruler of Denmark: “Frailty, thy name is woman!” Act I. Scene. 2.

Hamlet feigns insanity to get at the truth, a truth he knew, and a truth he was born to uncover.

“The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.”  Act II. Scene 2.

The mad prince of Danes is not so mad after all: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Act I. Scene 5.

Elsinore. A Room in the Castle.

In the end, Horatio, a true friend, holds the dying prince, and says:

Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet
prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest! Act IV. Scene 5.

If the price for truth is death, then Hamlet paid his dues and may he metaphorically rest in peace.»

Note: For another view of this tragedy, see the play, the movie, or both of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

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