What best describes Hamlet’s view of death?

Hamlet’s views on death is one of the most poignant themes in the play. At the start of the play, Hamlet contemplates the link between mortality and religion, and fears the afterlife. He questions whether it is worth living and fighting, or if it is better to leave the world. As the story progresses, Hamlet’s concept of death changes. He goes from fearing it, to accepting its inevitability.

In Act III, Scene 1, Hamlet compares death to sleep and expresses his desire to die. However, he does not have a clear idea about suicide and his thoughts about death are shaky and ambiguous. For him, suicide is impossible because God does not allow it. Hamlet doubts what awaits a person after death and whether mental anguish ends with death.

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Hamlet’s fear of death makes him hesitant to take action and struggle. He believes that the premonition of death deprives a person of their determination. However, in Act V, Scene 1, Hamlet’s conversation on the graveyard indicates that he has reached a peace of mind. The tone and meaning of his thoughts about death are now different. He reconciles with the inevitability of death and accepts it with bitter irony.

When Hamlet learns about Ophelia’s death, his indifference to death leaves him instantly. He realizes what a terrible, irrevocable loss death is. In Act V, Scene 2, before Laertes kills Hamlet, the prince fights to defend himself. Hamlet now understands the value of living and wants to save his own life.

Throughout the play, Hamlet’s views on death change. He goes from fearing it and questioning its inevitability, to accepting it with bitter irony and understanding the value of life.

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