Theme Of Suspense In Hamlet

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William Shakespeare was a master of his craft, as he managed to write countless of classic plays that are more complex than most today. In Hamlet, Shakespeare used the mental and psychological events to create a sense of excitement, suspense, and climax usually associated with external action. The play very much centers around Hamlet’s mental state, making the audience question whether or not the protagonist is actually losing his mind. With this psychological-centered story, a lot of the suspense and excitement comes from questioning Hamlet’s state of mind. Although, Hamlet’s mind isn’t the only source of intrigue, as almost every character has some important psychological event or problem that creates more suspense in the story. Ophelia,…show more content…
And so he goes to heaven. And so am I revenged.—That would be scanned.A villain kills my father, and, for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send To heaven. Oh, this is hire and salary, not revenge. He took my father grossly, full of bread, With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May. And how his audit stands who knows save heaven?” (Hamlet 3.3.74-83) While the reader reads this scene, it is painfully suspenseful to them because they wonder if the prince is actually going to kill Claudius at this time. Not only is that part of the suspense, but the reader at this point cares for Hamlet, and the consequences for killing Claudius would be tremendous, which makes the waiting for Hamlet to kill Claudius even more suspenseful. An example of how Hamlet’s mental state can provide just as much excitement, suspense, and climax as something like a battle scene could, is Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be,” soliloquy. Throughout the course of the play, Hamlet is constantly battling with his emotions and is conflicted as to whether or not to continue with his plan to kill Claudius. “To be, or not to be--that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep-- No more--and by a sleep to say we end The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished.”…show more content…
At the beginning of the play, Ophelia didn’t have the strongest mind in the room, but she certainly wasn’t broken as she was towards the end of the tragedy. There were certainly clues of Ophelia’s downfall, as she was easily broken and constantly used as a political tool instead of being treated as a human being. Shakespeare has the reader notice this, which makes them uneasy from the start about Ophelia’s character. There are constant moving parts in this play, most of which have the consequence of being negative to Ophelia. The suspense in the play builds regarding Ophelia’s character when Hamlet admits that he never loved her, making the reader worry about the girl since it was cruel and Ophelia truly loves Hamlet. “You should not have believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not.” (3.1.120-122) The suspense here comes from Ophelia’s psychological damage, as the reader is unsure what will happen to her or how she will handle the cruelty. While Ophelia doesn’t have a lot of lines, Shakespeare makes sure that she is put to use well regarding the suspense she builds in the play. In another story the suspense for Ophelia might be her snapping and going to kill people, but in Hamlet the suspense purely comes from

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