Essay On Conscience In Hamlet

710 Words3 Pages

Conscience is inner critical thinking about one’s behavior and acts of rightfulness or wrongfulness- this can affect how one deals with death and the idea of an afterlife by subconsciously guiding one to act a certain way to obtain the ‘promised afterlife’ in the Christian religion. In the time of Shakespeare- the Elizabethan era, the two main religions were Catholic and Protestant, the reader can see influences of religion throughout Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In ‘Hamlet’, the Christian concepts of one’s conscience, death and afterlife are demonstrated through Hamlet and supporting characters. Shakespeare gives these Christian concepts a larger meaning. Religion adds uncertainty and fear to a character’s decision making process. Shakespeare constantly …show more content…

His conscience was aligned with his religious beliefs which got in the way of allowing him to act on his thoughts. This sparked an inner conflict in Hamlet about what to do. When Hamlet was first told by the ghost to kill King Claudius, Hamlet overthinks the decision on throughout the book. Hamlet knows his conscience driven mind will prevent him from acting on his instincs to kill Claudius. “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all” (3.1.87) Hamlet is angry with himself that he has let his conscience come in the way. Hamlet was not only obsessed with his own conscience but the conscience of others as well. "The play's the thing, wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king." (2.2.617) Hamlet wants to know what king Claudius is thinking in terms of his conscience before Hamlet acts. Here, Hamlet is thinking with his conscience, instead of just killing Claudius like he wanted to do from the beginning, he needs to confirm the conscience of Claudius to convince his own conscience it is the right thing to do. Hamlet was constantly overthinking because he wanted a clean conscience however, this brought several internal conflicts Hamlet had to battle himself with and inevitable lead to his

Open Document