Theme Of Innocence In Hamlet

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Innocence an attribute of children who have not grown up and have not felt the burden of responsibility. No person can remain in a state of pure innocence; they must act and respond to the events around them. Hamlet believes that he can do the impossible and preserve his innocence and still live life. Goethe’s analysis of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, illustrates that Hamlet is unable to act due to the fact that he bemoans innocence and purity. He says, “Trouble and astonishment take hold of the solitary young man.” The mention of “young man,” refers to a person of innocence and of purity and the words “trouble and astonishment take hold,” refer to the experience that he has to gain by growing up and by taking action.
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In the “To be or not to be” soliloquy, Hamlet says, “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!”(3.1 61-64) Proving that he is so distraught about taking action against his uncle that he believes that death would be an easier alterative to losing his purity and innocence. He ultimately decides that suicide is not the answer, “With this regard their currents turn awry/ And lose the name of action,” (3.1 88-89) because he cannot take the uncertainty of the afterlife. This entire soliloquy also highlights Hamlets delayed action to his problems. Does he die or does he live? He spends a considerable amount of time on that one question alone. Goethe referrers to Hamlet’s innocence as a dream. “This past condition he remembers a vanishing dream.” It is ephemeral and it will not last. This prevents Hamlet from acting because he is always looking to his past innocence and never looking forward to a future of

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