Hamlet Fate Vs Free Will

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Since the earliest of times, there has always been debate over the concepts of fate and free will. The most frequent dispute is whether or not man truly has free will, or if fate is the ultimate determinant of how one's life will turn out. One play that depicts this concept is Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. In this tragedy, Oedipus receives a prophecy that he would bed his mother and murder his father. After learning of this prophecy, Oedipus attempts to undo fate and utilize his free will to escape what would be his destiny. Though he gives his best effort to defeat his fate, Oedipus still ultimately fails to do so and in fact fulfills the prophecy. Though the two plays were written in different times, Oedipus Rex has a direct correlation with Shakespeare's …show more content…

Though Hamlet is aware of what things may come under the rule of his uncle, he is slow to action, which some might contribute to his"extreme sensitive nature" (Knight 3); however, deep down Hamlet harbors a need to be completely sure of the facts surrounding his father's death before he can convince himself to take action. Hamlet's own insecurities about whether or not he should take action severely halts his efforts at canceling fate, and it may be argued that his insecurities even made it stronger. On the other hand, it can be argued that Hamlet is simply enacting his free will in the way that he chooses to wait and be sure, rather than to take action against Claudius right away as his father's ghost wants him to. This brings about an internal conflict for Hamlet because outwardly, one is able to see that he is nervous of Denmark's fate, comparing it to "an unweeded garden that grows to seed" (Shakespeare 1.2.135-136) under Claudius' reign. Perhaps if Hamlet did not wait so long to take action, he might have been able to save many lives and rule the kingdom himself, thus changing the country's fate. It can be argued that Hamlet's choice to wait, coming from "the consciousness of

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