Hamlet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. The story recounts the acts how Prince Hamlet takes revenge on his Uncle Claudius, who has murdered King Hamlet, then taken the throne, and married to his mother, Queen Gertrude. Shakespeare was successful making a puzzle surround Hamlet which reveals so many important ambiguities that even the audience of all times cannot resolve with certainty. One of those ambiguities is whether Hamlet seems to be more determined or more metaphysical freedom.
In my perspective, I believe Hamlet is more on the determined side. He is “a product of many factors that have made him what he is, and which continue to shape all of his behavior. ” (Washburn, p55) In the very first words of speech to court, Claudius quickly mentions of “our sometime sister, now our queen,” “mirth in funeral,” “dirge in marriage,” and “taken to wife”(Hamlet, I. ii. 8-14). All those words like splashing cold water straight on Hamlet’s face. He knows he is going to loss everything along with his mother, Queen Gertrude, who he is deeply in love with.
That speech destroys family, love, hope, and confidence in his life. As a result, the sadness left over inside him causes the indignation and anger toward King Claudius and Queen Gertrude. Hamlet’s worst fears about Claudius are also confirmed from this point because he obviously notices his uncle’s motive and purpose. In the darkness, the ghost comes to rouse Hamlet to revenge his death. How can this nonphysical soul affect only Hamlet and his friends’ physical nervous systems, but the entire characters?
Washburn points out “only physical things can affect other physical things. ” (Washburn, p57) I believe the scene Hamlet and the ghost is a determined plan. Let’s say in other words. After the court, Hamlet meets his three friends. They have a change to talk about the story of how his father is murder. After all, Claudius has committed a sin, that sin must to be returned with punishment. Hamlet must be the man who would inherited the throne as what he is meant to be. The plan of retributive justice is causally determined by Hamlet and his friends.
He now carries both internal and external forces of: “That ever I was born to set it right! ” (Hamlet, I. v. 211) Metaphysical libertarians believe that Hamlet is not pretending to be a madman. His behavior is “not coerced or constrained by anything” (Washburn, p50) because he actually has mental issues. I agree that he is certainly mad and upset over his father’s death and his mother’s remarriage, but he is not crazy. He just does too good of pretending to be mad as he suggests. Imagining you fall into the same situation.
Can you get yourself out of madness, even you are planning to be mad so your uncle does not suspicious about you? Significantly, he declares, “I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” (Hamlet, II. ii. 402-403). Hamlet knows himself is mad at certain time, and the rest he can distinguish between things that do not resemble each other. Therefore, an over acted madman is also determined by his plan and his actual madness. Washburn also says that: “our thoughts and actions are determined because we know that all events are causally determined. (Washburn, p49) Similarly in this case, Hamlet’s thoughts and actions are mainly determined after a simultaneous tragedy of his father’s death and his mother’s hasty marriage to his uncle. Furthermore, all of the sudden do not happen by chance. It is causally determined by Claudius, who stands behind all those tragedies with evil ambitions of power and sexuality. In other words, it is reasonable to believe that Hamlet’s behaviors are mostly determined from those horrible external forces, rather than metaphysical freedom. Question 2. So that in the first place, I put a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. ” (Hobbes, p36) I agree that humans (socially) have “a restless desire of power. ” They want the power of obtaining not only some current apparent good but also more future apparent goods, because they naturally want to satisfy themselves with better quality and quantity. Even thought, those desires are such different things; humans of all times still seek and acquire “power after power” in order to assure their satisfactions and avoid aversion of death.
Humans do not need power to live among each other; however, without such desires they will stop and believe themselves to be complete satisfactions. Therefore, it may repel the human civilization, which causes uncounted loss in social. “Competition of riches, honour, command, or other power, inclineth to contention, enmity, and war; because the way of one competitor to the attaining of his desire to kill, subdue, supplant, or repel the other. ” (Hobbes, p36) I believe this state of chaos might happen during Hobbes’ social when human totally lacked of knowledge, moral, and law.
Radical freedom enables them to complete their desires by harming others with “contention, enmity, and war. ” Human in current social is different. They may have “desire to kill” to “obscure the glory of the other. ” However, an improved social with higher knowledge and stronger law prevents them from making those evil desires; in order to make “a restless desire of power” become healthy “competition of riches, honour, command, or other power,” which pushes a pressure on human kind to create more and more of better good. If any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end, which is principally their own conservation, and sometimes their delectation only, endeavor to destroy or subdue one another. ” (Hobbes, p45) In history of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the vast China nation is like a giant cake for the more powerful countries. The power rulers at the time are the USA, the UK, Germany, Japan, French, and Russia.
They all want to occupy China, and make it their own. “From fear of death, or wounds” (Hobbes, , p42) these six counties turn enemies into partnerships so that everyone can afford to own exclusive piece of China. This example goes against Hobbes’ theory, which indicates “if any two men desire the same thing” they are not necessary to become enemies. There is no need for an end of destroying or subduing one another. The modern social is arming to this point, where the same desire can end with satisfaction.