The Thesis Statement In A Reflective Essay Based On Hamlet

Dear Client,

Structurally speaking, this essay is very different from the other two that you submitted. All of the paragraphs are quite long and dense, and there is a considerable amount of repetition (particularly in the first paragraph). I would suggest breaking up paragraphs for greater clarity; see my revision for some suggestions about how to do this. Also, you should consider including more quotes from Hamlet, and perhaps some outside evidence to support your contentions (see my notes).

Your essay also contains a number of grammatical errors, awkward phrasing choices, run-on sentences, sentence fragments, and typos, all of which I have corrected for in my revision.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.


GradeSaver Editor

Editor Comments:

The most powerful generator of fear is the concept of death. Each person's ability to reconcile with someone's ultimate fate generally leads to how a person deals with fear. Oftentimes people are unable to cope with death, which causes them to be filled with deep sorrow. People who are incapable of accepting the reality of death will suffer more in his or her culture. Since people are extroverted by nature, our society as a whole is extremely sociable. This can, in fact, leave many individuals lost because of the death of a loved one. The way people emerge from this stage is what will affect how civilization sees him or her. If an individual can put death beside them and live their lives, things will be much easier for them. This would be considered the most ideal result; however, people's emotions from grieving death can range anywhere from a deep depression to possible insanity. In society, this is considered to be the least acceptable recovery from a hard situation and it is treated as such in society. Despite the general public's attempts to make life easier, death still brings the same problems as it has for hundreds of years. The play, "Hamlet," written by William Shakespeare very accurately depicts how coping with death is present in my life, as well as the play. Inability to handle death is shown in Hamlet when his father is murdered and when he finds the skull; just as in mine and my friend's life when her baby cousin was shaken to death and when my great grandmother passed away.

The first sentence could be reworked for greater clarity. Generally speaking, the first few sentences are a little repetitive - it seems to me that this idea could be expressed far more simply. What is your thesis? That the mechanism for dealing with death seen in Hamlet is universally applicable?

Failure to cope with death contributes to Hamlet's dominant struggle, just as coping with death leads to problems in society. As a child, Hamlet does not encounter with death. He is raised by his mother and father - the King and Queen of Denmark. Hamlet's lack of dealing with death, or even comprehending it, impacts him as a child and now leaves him unable to come to terms with the death of his father. At the time, Hamlet does not know the reason for his father's passing. Later, the Ghost of his father reveals to Hamlet that he was murdered and did not die a natural death. Hamlet cries, "O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain" (1.5.106). This was Hamlet's cry when he found out the former King was killed by his brother, Claudius. The motivation for his doing was to marry Gertrude and be crowned King of Denmark in place of Hamlet's father. Once Hamlet discovers the reasoning for his father's death, the betrayal surrounding it compounds his feelings. Hamlet was already struggling with the death of his father, but his knowledge ultimately drives him to his insanity. Hamlet's emotions show his incapability of handling death, resulting in his acts of madness. Hamlet also copes with death when he goes to Ophelia's funeral. Given that Hamlet has yet another death to cope with, he is left with deeper losses to deal with for the already troubled feelings he has built up. When Horatio and Hamlet go to Ophelia's gravesite, they are both quite upset about her death. The true problem, however, is not caused by Ophelia's death. Once Hamlet notices how the grave-diggers were working, his distress grows even deeper. Regardless of the pain Hamlet felt due to Ophelia's death, he does not truly reach his maximum point of grief until he discovers a freshly dug up skull of someone he once knew. "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy" (5.1.190-192). Hamlet takes the skull in hand and holds it with sorrow. The skull then becomes the symbol of death to Hamlet, giving him a single object to pour all his emotions and feelings into. He thinks about death, life, and the cause of his madness. Hamlet's struggle is finding a way to deal with death and the emotions that follow, just like people must do.

The first sentence, again, could be rephrased. "encounter with death" is awkward. Try a comma instead of a dash in the third sentence. This paragraph should be broken up for greater clarity. Remember, each paragraph should focus on a single main point that directly supports your thesis statement. See my revision for a suggestion on where to break up this paragraph.

People who cannot handle death face more serious consequences throughout life than people who are able to. Countless numbers of people do not know how to deal with hard situations, like death, in a well thought-out and rational way. When losing a loved one or finding remembrances of the deceased, a common reaction is to act on your emotions. A close friend of mine had to face an unforeseen death of a family member. She thought her baby cousin of five weeks old died in his sleep of natural cause; however, to her surprise, this was not the case. It was uncovered that the baby boy was shaken to death. Despite the parents' devastation, they caused his death. The father became upset when the little boy would not stop crying, so his initial reaction was to shake him. Whether it was intended or not, the father murdered his son. My friend and her family members were all dreadfully upset at the news, similar to Hamlet when it was revealed that his uncle killed his father. Both Hamlet and my friend's family were faced with having to cope with death by unnatural causes. There are other ways people must cope with death as well. Sometimes the timing can greatly influence how people deal with loss. The means of death can be devastating, but the timing can cause great emotional downfalls. My great grandmother passed away two days before my tenth birthday. The day after her death I received a birthday card from her. On the card, my great grandmother's handwriting was barely legible. When looking at it, I realized how sick and frail she had gotten. It made it much more difficult because I was already trying to cope with her death. This example was similar to Hamlet when he found the skull in the graveyard. When he held the skull, he felt sadness and distress, just like I did with the card. People struggle with hard situations, like death, when placed in front of them.

Is the first sentence in this paragraph your opinion, or is there some research available to back it up? I would strongly suggest including some evidence from outside sources when making statements such as this one. "finding remembrances of the deceased" is a little awkward. "discovered," not "uncovered." Also, this entire paragraph is not relevant to your thesis.

The lack of coping with death is revealed in Hamlet when his father is murdered and when he finds the skull; just like in mine and my friend's life when her baby cousin was murdered and when my great grandmother died. William Shakespeare's, "Hamlet" personifies how people in the play and in my life deal with death. People have tried to cope with death in an easier way, but for many decades it has caused problems. When those of importance pass away, a void is left. Regardless of who it is, this empty space is incredibly difficult to fill. Depression, sorrow, and even issues with sanity are just a few of the problems that can and oftentimes do affect people while dealing with their loss. Death can leave rippling affects in the community as a whole, as well as with loved ones of the deceased. The possibility exists for these effects to burden people for the remainder of their lives. Hopefully over time everyone will let go of their loss and move on, rejoining the community and remembering the good times from the past. Unfortunately, some people are not able to do this and must deal with unhappiness daily. The pain and issues that people have dealt with have and will always be the same. No matter how much death affects a person, it is fear of death that everyone lives with.


Fear is Fate

For many people, death is the source of an all-consuming - if abstract - terror. The manner in which an individual deals with this fear is often a reflection of their ability to accept their ultimate fate. Oftentimes, an individual's inability to cope with the idea of death leaves them filled with a profound sorrow, and leads to a great deal of suffering. The sociable nature of our society makes death particularly difficult to handle: society expects us to "deal with" death and to return to normal activities relatively quickly, and looks down upon those who cannot achieve this. People respond to death in a wide variety of ways, ranging from grief, to rage, to deep depression bordering on insanity. It is this last response that the public views least favorably. In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, the titular protagonist has difficulty accepting the death of his father, and many of the coping mechanisms that he employs are still seen by individuals forced to deal with death in modern society.

Hamlet's struggle with his father's death is the primary mechanism behind his inability to fall in line with the dictates of society. Hamlet is raised by his mother and father, the King and Queen of Denmark. As a child, Hamlet is relatively sheltered from death, and it is this unfamiliarity that leaves him unable to cope with it as an adult, when his world is shattered by the murder of his father. Initially, Hamlet does not know the cause behind his father's passing, but his father's ghost later reveals that he was murdered. When Hamlet learns that his father was killed by his brother, Claudius, he cries out, "O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain" (1.5.106). Claudius, it seems, intended to marry Queen Gertrude and be crowned King of Denmark in his brother's stead. Once Hamlet discovers the reason behind his father's death, his sense of betrayal only increases his misery, ultimately driving him to insanity.

Hamlet's inability to cope with death manifests as madness, as can be seen when he attends Ophelia's funeral. Having to deal with a second death is too much for Hamlet - he has not yet dealt with his complex emotions about his father's murder. When Horatio and Hamlet go to Ophelia's gravesite, both are visibly shaken by her death, but the true reason for the troubles is more abstract. Once Hamlet sees the gravediggers working, his distress grows deeper, but his pain does not reach its apex until he discovers the freshly unearthed skull of a lost friend. "Alas, poor Yorick!" he cries. "I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy" (5.1.190-192). Hamlet holds out the skull, his face contorted in sorrow. The skull becomes the ultimate symbol of death to Hamlet, and it is into this object that he pours all of his feelings about the passing of two people whom he loved deeply. He contemplates death, life, and madness, and struggles to find a way to deal with his emotions.

The following two paragraphs were deleted for being irrelevant to the thesis of the essay.

Hamlet's inability to cope with death is revealed when his father is murdered, and is underscored when he finds the skull in the graveyard. William Shakespeare's Hamlet may have been written centuries ago, but the manner in which the characters deal with death is still relevant in contemporary society. People have always tried to find ways to minimize the pain of death, but suffering is inevitable when a loved one is lost. Depression, sorrow, and even madness can fill those who are left behind, and the effects can ripple through the community as a whole. Hopefully, individuals who are forced to deal with death will eventually heal and begin their lives anew, remembering the good times that they spent with the one who has passed, but some people are simply incapable of doing this. Even though they may intellectually understand that death is inevitable, their fear of death is as inescapable as death itself.

Revenge in Hamlet

Throughout history, revenge has stood out as a primal human instinct that has fueled terrible deeds. Though, it often leads one to perform criminal acts, Howard argues that it is a necessary component in the functioning of society. He points out that revenge is a threat that acts as a disincentive to undeserved violence. Revenge is an emotion that has not only consumed many, it has been simplified that in all fairness one turn deserves another. However, Shakespeare's Hamlet questions the effectiveness of revenge as a deterrent, as it is an emotion that consumes Hamlet, Fortinbras and Laertes and leads to the deaths of all, but one of them.

Claudius did not conceive that Hamlet would at some point want to exert revenge for his father's demise. Interestingly, this fact did not deter him from later murdering King Hamlet and marrying his wife. Hamlet, though determined, is unable to avenge his father's death and it is this delay that drives the plot forward and leads to the deaths of Ophelia, Rosencratz, Polonius, Gertrude, Laertes and Guildenstern. Fortinbras is consumed by revenge and journeys for several days in order to exert his vengeance for his father's murder and he succeeds in triumphing Denmark. As well, Laertes connives to kill Hamlet in order to avenge the death of Polonius, his father. William Shakespeare relies on the reaction of Hamlet, Fortinbras and Laertes to investigate the theme of revenge in Hamlet.

The death of Hamlet's father and his reaction thereafter epitomizes the theme of revenge. Hamlet does not have a desire to exert vengeance on Claudius, and Shakespeare creates a situation that obligates Hamlet to carry out the revenge for his father. His vacillation between self-rage, doubt and self-pity are seen to exacerbate his situation, and reinforces the theme of revenge. Laertes' reaction to the death of his father is premised on grief and illogical anger, and uses revenge to give him closure. Fortinbras' reaction to the death of his father exemplifies the theme of revenge. His only desire is to recover the lost territory when his father died; his revenge is driven by honor and belief that restoration of the territory will give Norway the honor it once has before the war.

Shakespeare depends on the reactions of Hamlet, Fortinbras and Laertes to interrogate the theme of revenge. Their rage has taken different forms and collectively reveals the intricacy and diversity of human feelings in bringing the theme of revenge into life.

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