Theme Of Suicide In Hamlet

711 Words3 Pages
Suicide is a reoccuring theme in Hamlet. Since this is a theme that affects all characters to a certain degree, it is interesting to see how the idea of suicide is treated both morally, religiously and aesthetically. This essay will mostly be based on Hamlet´s own soliloquies, considering their relevance to the theme, but Queen Gertrude´s treatment of Ophelia´s death is also worth a mention.
The story of Hamlet takes place in medieval Denmark, but a precise date is not mentioned. From the text, one can understand that morality and religion were closely linked; therefore, I will treat the moral and religious aspect of suicide as one. In Hamlet´s days, suicide was considered a sin by the church, and people who died due to this would not receive a proper Christian burial. In Hamlet, Ophelia is only buried at a graveyard due to her status and her family´s close ties with the royal family. The priest still refused to treat her death as anything but a suicide, and this only emphasises the role Christianity played in society. Faith and righteousness were two things one could not live without, and the religious norms were to be followed. Because of how closely religion and moral was tied together, suicide was considered morally wrong due to its classification as a sin. Hamlet himself claims in the «O´ that this too, too solid flesh would melt» soliloquy that he would commit suicide had it not been deemed wrong by the church. In other words, the play Hamlet treats suicide as a
Open Document