Academically so easily though. He insinuates to us

Academically Shakespeare
has created some of the most well-known works, literature and characters in our
field, one such example of a character whose existence resembles that of a
double-edged sword to critics is Hamlet and his famous verse “To Be or not to
Be: That is The Question”.  This lead to
research delving into the idea of Shakespeare’s characters being considered as
so ‘human’ that they also communicate with their conscience through their
soliloquies. Therefore how does one distinguish between a character’s persona
among other characters and the character’s inner persona often labelled as the
Conscience?

                                    In the opening part of his book Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human,
Harold Bloom, who had taught the subject of Shakespeare and Shakespearean
Literature and Performance at Yale for a long time, recommends that before
Shakespeare, the characters in plays would unravel however not really expand
and grow. On the off chance that a character simply expands, we already guess
that we definitely know everything there is to know about them when they
initially are showcased in front of an audience on stage or in the pages of a
book. Their creators have denied them of the one element that would make them
intriguing: the limit with regards to self-analysing that may uncover something
surprising to us readers as well as to the characters themselves. They show us
little since they can’t bewilder us in any way, basically on the grounds that
they can’t amaze themselves. This might be the present reality similar to the
scholar who leaves an information session and thinks to himself, “Nothing I
haven’t heard before,” and afterward says to themselves, “I figure I
am what I am!” or “I have my way of doing things, and some  people like it and some people don’t.”

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                                    Shakespeare does not let us free
so easily though. He insinuates to us that we are not just who we say we are,
but rather are comprised of many clashing and obscuring parts. As Bloom claims,
Shakespeare’s characters grow due to the fact that they can hear themselves
talk, either to themselves or to other characters, and are in this way ready to
re-examine themselves. By supplying his characters with elaborate inner worlds,
Shakespeare treats us, 400 years ahead of Freud, to expert presentations of
what to the academic ear sounds especially like self-revelation. There isn’t just
one single Hamlet yet numerous. Subsequent to learning of his Father’s sudden
death, he finds (in Soliloquies) that he can’t stand to stay as he is at that
moment in time. He is so torn by his internal struggles of conscience that he
considers, in maybe the most well-known discourse in all writing, the
advantages and disadvantages of suicide (“To Be or not To Be: THAT is the
Question.”).

                                    Shakespeare indicates to us
through Hamlet and numerous other characters not just the sine qua non of human
growth — that with a specific end goal to change ourselves we should first
discover our true selves — yet also what that improvement sounds like,
resembles, and feels like. He demonstrates to us that it is the moment when
Hamlet is so close to falling into despair and spiralling out of control that
he finally finds himself. In similar ways, the young Prince Hal, in Henry IV,
Part 2, on getting the Throne, neglects his then friends (“Presume not that I am the thing I was”) and starts his
Incredible change from degenerate ruler to King Henry V, Hero of Agincourt.

                        *                                              *                                              *

                                                In order to explore
the theme of Consciousness in Shakespearean characters, one must first delve
into the idea of what Consciousness is. Kant speaks of his Theory of Mind and
Consciousness with regards to the concept of Apperception: “The most central and specifically Kantian
concept of consciousness is that of apperception. It is argued that
‘apperception’ is not to be understood as self-consciousness or self-awareness.
Rather, apperception is a capacity to be aware of one’s spontaneous activities,
and it can be further analysed as the ability to respond to rules and norms.”1
 Therefore, ‘apperception’ assumes a
focal part in Kant’s hypothetical reasoning as well as in his hypothesis.
‘Inward sense’ is another focal idea for Kant. In the primary studies and later
works, Kant distinguishes the differences between apperception and inward
sense: inward sense is the awareness of what happens inside the brain instead
of apperception, which is the awareness of one’s exercises. These two ideas of
awareness, ‘inward sense’ and ‘apperception’, produce two altogether different
questions concerning the connection between cognizance and nature. From one
viewpoint, there is the subject of how inward or mental nature is identified
with physical nature; then again, there is the topic of how suddenness is
identified with the entire of nature, internal nature and in addition external.
So how does this apply itself to works such as Hamlet?

                                                Hamlet is riddled
with inward and outward conflicts, which ultimately forges his path to his end.
The internal clash experienced in Hamlet
lies in the mental disgruntlement of the play’s main character, Hamlet himself.
At an inside level, Hamlet is by all accounts postponing his vengeance since he
is ‘divided’ by his mother’s treachery of his deceased father and her marriage
to Claudius, which is a constant distraction to him. This inward distraction is
inconsistent with the apparition’s request for retaliation. Tabassum Javed in
“Perfect Idealism in Shakespeare’s
Prince Hamlet” attributes Hamlet’s internal struggles to a conflict
between his own despondency and the ghost’s insistence for retribution. Javed
states, “He can save himself and
Denmark by killing Claudius, but to kill Claudius is to act out his father’s
wish and the disaster for Hamlet is that this course of action perfectly
coincides with the solution of his own problem. Hamlet is torn between two
courses of action, both equally painful”2 (327).

                                                To this reality, Hamlet’s
inward distraction lies mainly with the connection between his mother and
uncle. The principal line he expresses is, “a little more kin and less than kind” (Shakespeare I.2.65). Hamlet
battles with the idea that his mother Gertrude could double-cross his father.
The double-crossing of his father weighs heavily on Hamlet’s mind since he
doesn’t know how to manage his subdued emotions about his mother and his own
particular oedipal bitterness towards his father. Likewise, the mental stun of
losing his father is expanded by an apparent disloyalty to the sacredness of
marriage and family ties. Kawsar Uddin condenses Freudian investigations of Hamlet’s
parental relationship expressing, “Hamlet
in his unconscious had an incestuous desire for his mother and had a murderous
desire towards his father” (695). In the conversation that takes place in
Act 1 Scene 2, where his mother, Gertrude, questions Hamlet’s despondency his
psychological state and inner conflict become very obvious and apparent; “If it be,

Why
seems it so particular with thee? … Seems, madam? Nay, it is. I know not
‘seems’ … Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief, … That can denote me
truly… These indeed ‘seem,’… For they are actions that a man might play… But I
have that within which passeth show, These but the trappings and the suits of
woe” (line 74– 85).

Hamlet communicates his
actual mental anguish to his mother and is by all accounts shocked at her
indifference and lack of dejection for her deceased husband. Hamlet’s issues
with his mother turn into an internal whirlwind that pushes the story forward.
Sandra Young discusses the idea of Hamlet suffering from a severe form of the
Oedipus Complex in her essay “Recognising
Hamlet.” Young contends, “”Oedipus
offers an explanation for this vigorous Hamlet’s indecision in the matter of
avenging his father’s death?—?he can’t kill the usurping Claudius because he
unconsciously identifies with him3”
(14). The possibility that Hamlet immediately detests his uncle for killing his
dad yet in the meantime is envious in an oedipal framework strikes at the heart
of the internal anguish that Hamlet is experiencing from the absolute starting
point of the play. After an encounter with his uncle and mom he states, “Fie on ‘t, ah fie! … Things rank and gross
in nature possess it merely…  So loving
to my mother

is
it her face too roughly!” (Act I, Scene 2, Lines 135– 141).

He attests that the
garden (his family) isn’t being kept and growing rampant and wild. He doesn’t
express his discontent towards his mom however holds it inside enabling it to
rot and push aside all forms of logic from his mind. The topic of birth-right
to Hamlet isn’t just about taking his father’s place, but also the overthrow of
his father’s powerful position on the throne with respect to his mother. It is
this internal battle characterised by Hamlet’s delay of his father’s
retaliation that enlightens the gathering of people into his inward battle.
Javed clarifies, “Hamlet could be a man
of decisive action, capable of anything?—?except the avenging of acts, his
conscience intuited, that were in keeping with his own repressed desires” (330)4.

                                                This inward hesitancy
between his deep-seeded hatred for his uncle who killed his father yet at the
same time profound respect for doing what he may have wanted himself is
indicated at in the content as he doubts the apparition of his father. At the
point when the king’s ghost uncovers the killer, Hamlet asks, “O my prophetic soul! Mine uncle?” (Act
I, Scene 5, line 41). Hamlet all of a sudden wavers to believe?—?and later
act?—?when a couple of minutes before he was excitedly expressing how eager he
was to exact his revenge in the name of the late king of Denmark. (Act I, Scene
5, line 29– 31). The give and take occurring inside Hamlet’s mind is quite
substantial. His uncle and mother’s depraved relationship is despicable to him,
as we have talked about beforehand and, yet, with regards to his uncle and exacting
his vengeance on him, Hamlet can’t force himself to act, even leading him to
muse over the idea of suicide in his epic soliloquy; “To be or Not To be, that
is the Question…” (Act 3, Scene I, Line 57-92). The mental clash moves the
powers of Hamlet and this play along and gives a vehicle to the plot to come to
fruition internally and also, as we will see, outwardly.

 

                                                Hamlet has the
essential components to build up the anguish inside yet additionally
demonstrates that Shakespeare understands the many-sided quality of legitimate
frameworks and the give and take of political power and position. At the core
of the play the external clash circles around the topic of the crown and succession.
Michael Taylor in “The Conflict in Hamlet” outlines this theory in a
nutshell; “The essential conflict in Hamlet, I believe, is that between
man as a victim of fate and as controller of his own destiny” (150)5. The topic of destiny identifies
with Hamlet in connection to the Political Position of King. Driven by the
ghost’s thirst for revenge (as well as his own) Hamlet actually contemplates
escape along with Claudius’ banishment to England.

 

                                                            In this
play Shakespeare beautifully harmonises and balances internal and external
clash into his play. The major internal clash is set apart by Hamlet’s subdued
wants and his refusal to trust his father’s apparition and later to rapidly
retaliate for him. Hamlet, suffering from an almost debilitating oedipal
complex, immediately is hollowed against a curbed want for his mother and envy
of his uncle. He, who is engrossed continually by?—?what he describes?—?as the
forbidden idea of his mother’s association with his uncle, harbours wants that
he can’t put into words and that at last lead him to delay his act of
vengeance. In the meantime, the inward associates with the external and the
fight for the crown of Denmark turns into the concentration of the outward
clash. Dedication to the crown and the implications of who fairly merits the
crown can be felt when King Claudius tells Valtemand, “Farewell, and let
your haste commend your duty” (Act I, Scene 2, Line 39). The political
play for the crown provides a perfect backdrop for the play, with the outward
clash the moves the plot along. In this way, Shakespeare makes a show utilizing
both internal and outward clash to connect with audiences that span the
centuries.

 

1  Sara
Heina?maa and Martina Reuter, Psychology
And Philosophy (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2009).


Tabassum Javed, “The Dialogue, V.8, No.3”, Perfect Idealism In
Shakespeare’S Prince Hamlet, V. 8.No. 3 (2013).

3  S
Young, “Recognising Hamlet”, Shakespeare In Southern Africa, 26.1
(2014), 13 .

4 Javed,
Tabassum. “Perfect Idealism in Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet.” Dialogue
(Pakistan) 8.3 (2013): 327–333. Humanities Source. Web. 20 June 2016.

5 Michael
Talyor, “The Conflict In Hamlet”, The Shakespeare Quaterly, 22.2
(1971) .