Yorick's Mentality In Hamlet

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Likewise, when Hamlet approaches Claudius in III, with the intent of killing him, he notices that Claudius is on his hands and knees praying and repenting his sins. Hamlet states, “Now might I do it pat. now he is a-praying;/ And now I’ll do’t: And so he goes to heaven:/ And so am I revenged. That would be scann’d (III.iii, 74-76). This is ironic because just as Hamlet if finally able to work up enough courage to kill the unseeing Claudius, it suddenly occurs to him that if Claudius dies praying, his soul will be sent to heaven because he had the opportunity to seek forgiveness for his sins, whereas King Hamlet did not. In this scene, once again, Hamlet’s emotions get the best of him. He wants personal satisfaction in the suffering of Claudius…show more content…
He expresses, “Alas, poor Yorick! I/ knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most/excellent fancy (V.i, 178-180). Hamlet’s recognition of the skull of Yorick acts as an eminent shift in Hamlet’s mentality. After his philosophical contemplation of mortality throughout the play, Hamlet is finally able to come to terms with death and the afterlife. He realizes that once people die, their social differences, among others as well, are irrelevant and crumble to dust just as the bones of their bodies do. This prepares Hamlet for revenge because he is able to trump his fears of death, given the fact that he has nothing to lose, since all people die the same when everything is finished and settled. Additionally, the death of Hamlet’s mother acts as the final situation, which causes Hamlet to reach his breaking point, ultimately killing Claudius. When he learns that Gertrude had died due to Claudius’ poisoning of the drink, he states, “Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned, Dane. Drink of this potion. Is thy union here?/ Follow my mother” (V.ii, 318-320). The moment that Hamlet learns from both his mother and Laertes that Claudius is the cause of their deaths, Hamlet finally comes to the realization that he was waited too long, which has resulted in the death of two he cares closely for. He understands that he has received enough validation, which is why he is finally able to kill Claudius. In fact, it is fitting that Claudius is killed with the same weapons that he had poisoned and rigged in order to ensure Hamlet’s death. Either way, it is evident that once Hamlet comes to the realization of his true values, he can then overcome all obstacles in order to pursue his revenge. Therefore, William Shakespeare illustrates through Hamlet’s character that once a person comes to terms with their own values, he will be able to find purpose and
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