Renaissance Features and Characteristics in W.Shakespeare's "Hamlet"
Hamlet is not an ordinary character of that age – he is a tinker who reflects on the unique human abilities and the world around him which makes him a Renaissance man. In Act II, Scene 2, Line 311, Hamlet says: “What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties…” (Online 2). In asking this, he shows humanist ideas about the power of man, of human mind and the ability to think and understand. The focus is on the individual, rather than God, which is a deviation from the Medieval views. The famous quote “To be or not to be” references the unknown afterlife that awaits after one’s death. This is different from what was believed previously – the strict belief that people either went to heaven or hell – thus illustrating the change of the religious views during Renaissance. He contemplates one’s choice, the worthiness of life and the existence of afterlife. Hamlet questions and examines the world around in his pursuit of revenge. He is the only one with academic and intellectual aspirations, yet he is sceptical about the worthiness of life, as even the greats, such as Caesar and Alexander the Great, after all their accomplishments and luxurious life became ‘dust’:…
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