Why Hamlet did not commit suicide?

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Why Hamlet did not commit suicide during his soliloquays?

-- Louis Tomlin (www.louistomlin86@hotmail.com), February 27, 2003


Because suicide is self-murder, and therefore is murder, it is against Hamlet's Christian beliefs and the laws of the Church. So he believes he can be damned for it. He doesn't fear death, but he fears damnation, which would lead to a very unpleasant 'something after death', consignment to Hell. That's what he dreads. Also, I think, he concludes in the end that it wouldn't be the 'nobler' thing to do.

-- catherine england (catherine_england@hotmail.com), February 27, 2003.

Well, Hamlet's Christian beliefs sure as hell didn't prevent him from killing other people. I believe he didn't kill himself because Shakespeare thought it would be more interesting for him to die in a climactic duel at the end of the play.

-- Michael Oden (bludevilz22@yahoo.com), April 29, 2003.

Killing himself would involve a premeditated, deliberite course of action. He doesn't kill Claudius for a long time for fear he will be damned for it. When he kills Polonius it is in a moment of passionate, undeliberating rage, and an accident. By the time he comes to kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern he is in any case a little less backward about thrusting forward - less uncertain and hesitant - but he also says to Horation in V.ii that he did it 'rashly ... '. It is, as Laertes says, Laertes's own poison that kills him, rather than Hamlet's sword thrust, which is probably only intended to wound. Hamlet is also angry when he kills Claudius at the end; he has intended to anyway, but to 'prevent this canker of our nature [from coming] In further evil.' That is, he is convinced it is just and necessary for the sake of many others, as much as due for his own vengeance.

-- catherine england (catherine_england@hotmail.com), April 30, 2003.

who cares why a fictional charactet commits or does not commit suicide. You can go ask WIlliam Shakespear.

Real people are feeling suicidal and committing suicide...That is a real problem for you to consider

-- Dayo Awomolo (dayoawomolo@yahoo.com), June 19, 2003.

What makes you think I don't?

-- catherine england (catherine_england@hotmail.com), June 20, 2003.

One could postulate many different conclusions but one that prevails most often is the idea that he is far too frightened by the uncertainties of the after life. AS it is he is never really sure about what is happening in his mortal life and thus how could he be sure about what is out there after death.He also fears the idea of being haunted by the nightmares he has while living. Will the dreams continue once he's dead? Again he has no certain knowledge of what's to be ahead and that definitely is a scary thought that would prevent most people from commiting suicide.

-- Ariana Moran (monarock@aol.com), September 22, 2003.

This is one of the daftest discussion threads on this forum. Quite probably the daftest question. I'll get back to you if I find anything dafter.

-- Patrick Walker (the_right_hand_of_doom@msn.com), September 23, 2003.

Actually, I think this one is dafter: "Why doesn't the king respond to the dumb show...and more!"

-- catherine england (catherine_england@emailaccount.com), September 23, 2003.

Hmmm, Catherine, I would have to contend that claim. Though daft it well may be, surely it touches not the dizzying heights of daftness that this thread reaches. Come again.

-- Patrick Walker (the_right_hand_of_doom@msn.com), September 24, 2003.

Oh ho, Catherine. I am too slow for you. Yes, now I realise that the dumbshow question you mentioned was in fact...MY OWN! Well done, though I missed the sarcasm at first as I had forgot I had even asked the question. Still, no, it wasn't a dafter question than this. Not daft in the slightest, in fact.

-- Patrick Walker (the_right_hand_of_doom@msn.com), September 24, 2003.

It was too! It asked a question purely of the text when any daft person knows that an actor can respond without words.

-- catherine england (catherine_england@emailaccount.com), September 24, 2003.

I don't quite catch your drift, madam.

-- Patrick Walker (the_right_hand_of_doom@msn.com), September 25, 2003.

Is that 'cos you're daft, sir?

-- catherine england (catherine_england@emailaccount.com), September 25, 2003.

Perhaps; but still, you'd better explain that again.


-- Patrick Walker (the_right_hand_of_doom@msn.com), September 26, 2003.

Oh fa heaven's sake. Wrong board. I explained it on the other one.

-- catherine england (catherine_england@emailaccount.com), September 27, 2003.

Are you just being perplexing and ambiguous on purpose? Because if so you are making a fucking good job at it. Let's start from scratch. This is a shit stupid question.

-- Patrick Walker (the_right_hand_of_doom@msn.com), September 28, 2003.

Oh well I'm a woman: it's my prerogative. On the other hand, ever think it might be you? It's pretty simple. I'm just saying your question was sillier. Why? You asked why Claudius doesn't respond to the dumb show. But of course he can respond, only with actions and facial expression, not words. Just because he doesn't have any words in the script doesn't mean he can't respond. It's like saying Horatio doesn't respond to Hamlet's speech of praise of him in III.ii, just because he doesn't say anything. Get it? Daft.

-- catherine england (catherine_england@emailaccount.com), September 28, 2003.

Could we please get back to the question in hand?

-- Louis Tomlin (louistomlin86@hotmail.com), October 12, 2003.

Simply because he didn't want to. How many times have you been frustrated and said you were going to kill yourself? I don't think he ever intended too. He especially wouldn't have done it before he avenged his father's death by killing Claudius

-- Rob Wilson (RWilson12004@aol.com), December 10, 2003.

If Hamlet had committed suicide during his soliloquies then he would never have been able to avenge his father (King Hamlet)'s death. Had Hamlet committed suicide he as well would have gone to a) Purgatory or b) Hell. Being a Christian Hamlet would have been very afraid of what the afterlife could bring, which would inflict upon his road of action. Ultimately pride would have played a considerable part in Hamlet's decision. Perhaps Hamlet had lost so much that he could not bear to lose himself as well. This is indeed a complex and questionable topic yet it interreges me as well. ~Ava

-- Ava May (ava_may@hotmail.com), January 04, 2004.

who the hell uses the word daft anymore?

-- sippy cup (dukecool@hotmail.com), April 06, 2004.

Hamlet didn't commit suicide because he is a pussy and a procrastinator who would find any excuse he could to kill himself. like its against gods will or what will happen after death

-- sippy cup (dukecool@hotmail.com), April 06, 2004.

I the hell use the word daft. What you want to drop words from the English language for?

-- catherine england (catherine.england@arts.usyd.edu.au), April 06, 2004.

If Hamlet had committed suicide during his soliloques then he would have had to have killed himself 7 times, and would never have reached the end of each one.

-- Patrick Walker (the_right_hand_of_doom@msn.com), April 07, 2004.

sippy cup/duke cool: if you're a pussy if you don't commit suicide....then why are YOU still living? ;-p God bless

-- Bøge Bingo (ll@ofir.dk), May 01, 2004.

Hamlet was a fucking pussy who didn't have the guts to follow through on any of his plans; therefore, he didn't commit suicide.

-- Steve Walorny (asdered@msn.com), May 31, 2004.

wow. i was looking at your comments for help for an english paper and you guys really get into the word daft and like to yell at each other. i think its kinda funny.

-- Greg (alvis@hotmail.com), June 02, 2004.

I was also looking for help with an English paper and have in turn realized what people have lowered themselves to; discussing a play that was released 380 years ago. Couldn't there possible be something better you could be doing with your life than sitting on a computer bitching about a fictional character, who couldn't possibly commit suicide simply due to the fact that he IS a fictional character who NEVER lived. That is all, thank you.

-- Kyle (Cheese3250@msn.com), June 20, 2004.

hamlet did not commit suicide because he had, what he felt, a responsiblility to avenge his father. he may have contemplated it, yet he would have then been letting his father down. inner turmoil, grief, and his morality caused him to be indecisive in his action, but in the end he did what he felt he needed to do. there is nothing wrong with using the word daft and who cares if people argue back and forth on this thing. it's an open forum. take what you can from it and forget about what isn't useful.

-- tyler_peterson (fireyedsirens@yahoo.com), November 22, 2004.

Why did my comments get deleated?

-- WTF? (this is a stupid website@msn.com), January 31, 2005.

Please read the forum policy at the top of the main page, under the link "About". I generally enjoy any sort of witty/hyperbolic/sarcastic discourse; however, if that degenerates into ad hominem attacks or anything else that I feel doesn't follow the spirit of this forum, then your post will magically disappear. If you choose to continue the discussion, I would suggest that you take it to e-mail. Thanks for your attention.

-- Admin (fiver_1@yahoo.com), January 31, 2005.

Why didnt you deleate the comments of catherine england calling people daft? "Is that cos your daft sir?" as i recall?

-- wtf? (wowiepowiejerkywerky@msn.com), January 31, 2005.

Because Patrick and I were engaging in witty/hyperbolic/sarcastic discourse - just bantering with each other - not being insulting or mean to each other, or fighting. And we were continuing the intellectual debate, on "Hamlet" if not strictly on this question, while we did it. Patrick and I do that rather a lot. Sorry if you misunderstood.

-- catherine england (catherine.england@arts.usyd.edu.au), January 31, 2005.

I still found it quite distratcting and annoyinng and not very helpful when i came here for help...

-- meh (mehmeekylife@yahoo.com), February 01, 2005.

Well sorry but this is not a formal set of crib notes, but an internet forum where people do discuss freely with each other and express their own opinions, in their own styles. People can surf here and browse for their studies, but they have to be prepared to take that freeedom of the genre into account. Or they can ask their own questions, and in these cases I know I at least have alway tried to be as helpful as is appropriate within this genre.

So, if you need help, why not actually ask your own question, and see what people say?

-- catherine england (catherine.england@arts.usyd.edu.au), February 01, 2005.

one reason is because i couldnt understand most of the people's language... one quetion are you from the USA you dont have to tell me where your actually from but whether or not your from the USA.

-- meh (meekypoohgah@msn.com), February 01, 2005.

No. I'm from the East side of Australia. We speak English here as our first language - it just sounds funny, that's all.

-- catherine england (catherine.england@arts.usyd.edu.au), February 01, 2005.

The email address I post here is my real one too.

-- catherine england (catherine.england@arts.usyd.edu.au), February 02, 2005.

I think part of the reason i coundnt undersatand is because some words like "daft" because i have only heard it used like once or twice because i live in New York...and we speak different english

-- chelsea(meh) (sgfhgoalie01@msn.com), February 02, 2005.

OK, yeah. Daft is really more of a British English word. Shakespeare, though, he spoke different English from all of us. So what is it you need help with? And if we use any language you don't undersand, you can always ask us to explain.

-- catherine england (catherine.england@arts.usyd.edu.au), February 02, 2005.

At the end of the play...Why does Hamlet tell Horatio not to kill himself?

-- chelsea (sgfhgoalie01@msn.com), February 02, 2005.

Hamlet tells Horatio: 'Thou liv’st. Report me and my cause aright To the unsatisfied' and 'O God, Horatio, what a wounded name, Things standing thus unknown, shall I leave behind me. If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, Absent thee from felicity awhile, And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain, To tell my story.'

He is saying that he needs Horatio to live on to tell everyone the truth about all that has happened, and what Hamlet was trying to do ('report my cause aright', 'Tell my story'). That's because he is afraid that otherwise he will go down in history with a really bad reputation ('wounded name'), as the bad guy, because no one knows the truth ('things standing thus unknown'). Hamlet has just killed the King (Claudius). Only a few people knew that Claudius was actually the bad guy, so to the public it looks like treason for Hamlet to have killed him. Hamlet also killed Polonius a while back. Also, some people might see him as responsible for Laertes's death - and Laertes was an important courtier and pretty popular guy. And also, everyone still thinks Hamlet was insane. Horatio is the only one left living who knows the whole story.

In Horatio's very last speech at the end of the play, this is what he is saying he will do - tell Fortinbras the whole true story.

-- catherine england (catherine.england@arts.usyd.edu.au), February 03, 2005.

Shakespeare is spelt with an 'e' on the end!

-- foo (fooo@bar.com), March 02, 2005.

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