Forgiveness In Dick Lourie's Hamlet

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Forgiveness is an important quality that promotes peace of mind and allows people to put behind old grudges. People who carry grudges against others negatively impact their well-being as they become caught in a vicious cycle of resentment and bitterness. Thus, harbouring resentments keeps people emotionally unstable and prevents them from achieving inner peace. This idea is examined in William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, and Dick Lourie’s poem “How do we forgive our fathers”. These texts emphasize the challenging nature of forgiving parental figures. When individuals struggle to forgive their parents, the difficulty and emotional unrest associated with this challenge become apparent, hindering their ability to attain inner peace and potentially …show more content…

When a parent exhibits “excesses of warmth or coldness” (Lourie l.10) towards their child, it might cause uncertainty and a sense of unpredictability. The parent's contradictory and conflicting actions may lead to feelings of resentment. Inconsistent emotional behaviours can damage the child's trust in the parent. When a child continually views a parent's shows of warmth as false and their displays of coldness as rejection, it can cultivate a profound mistrust in the child towards the parent's true intentions and actions, harbouring feelings of resentment. The accumulation of resentment and mistrust caused by inconsistent emotional behaviour might affect the child's emotional well-being and impede their ability to form healthy relationships, as well as lead to a catastrophic path of personal struggles. In Hamlet, Claudius's excessive warmth and coldness towards Hamlet creates a sense of mistrust and suspicion, leading to Hamlet's growing resentment. While Claudius appears to be overly sympathetic to Hamlet in public, his underlying coldness and manipulation become clear when he plots against him in …show more content…

When a parent decides to marry, it can generate feelings of hostility if the child disapproves or feels neglected. The child may regard the new marriage as a threat or may feel abandoned by the parent. These feelings of hostility can put the child at risk of engaging in destructive behaviours and experiencing emotional distress. Just as Lourie’s quote asks, “do we forgive our [mothers] for marrying or not marrying our [fathers]” (Lourie l.8), Hamlet too struggles with the question of whether he can forgive his mother for marrying Claudius. Hamlet experiences a profound sense of betrayal as a result of his mother hastily marrying his uncle “A little month, or ere those shoes were old with which she followed my poor father’s body, like Niobe, all tears” (i.ii. 150-153), whom he holds accountable for his father's murder. Claudius's presence in their lives serves as a constant reminder of this betrayal, escalating Hamlet's feelings of hostility toward his mother. Hamlet's resentment towards Gertrude for marrying Claudius fuels his desire for vengeance and causes him to act impulsively and recklessly, further pushing him towards his inevitable destruction. Ultimately, Hamlet's inability to forgive his mother for marrying Claudius and let go of his hostility, contributes to his tragic fate leading

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