Useful Expressions to Express Humans' Personality and Psychological Conflicts in Hamlet
Useful Expressions to Express Humans' Personality and Psychological Conflicts in Hamlet
  • 경남타임즈(경남대학교)
  • 승인 2021.09.27 13:28
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By Hwang Soon-hyang

It is well known that English literature is a major learning tool for us to get rich English expressions. Among a few literary genres, especially drama written in dialogue is a useful educational material that can greatly help us 0 develop our communication skills. There have been many great playwrights in human history. Among them, William Shakespeare has been considered as the greatest playwright. He wrote many tragic works that dealt with the flaws of human personality to represent human's psychological conflicts and various emotions. Hamlet, recognized as the greatest tragedy written by Shakespeare, expresses the protagonist, Hamlet's psychological conflicts and various emotions caused by the tremendous hardship and agony that he experiences. So let's learn useful expressions related to human personality and psychological conflicts by reading the dialogues spoken by Hamlet and his lover, Ophelia in order to improve our communication skills. I think this can be a good chance for you to kill two birds with one stone because you can learn good expressions while appreciating a great literary work.

Shakespeare lived in the Renaissance age. Ideas in British Renaissance plays can be summarized in the order of optimism and pessimism on humans and the universe. Hamlet's personality also tends to be optimistic in the beginning of the play, but after the specter of Hamlet's father appears, he becomes pessimistic and eventually becomes lethargic due to the psychological effects of Stoic philosophy, delaying revenge for his father having been murdered by his uncle, Claudius. Early Hamlet has an optimistic view of humans and the universe. He is also a witty and well-educated gentlem


an with both literary and artistic skills, indicating that he is almost a perfect man. Through the following words spoken by Hamlet in Act II, Scene II, we can notice his optimistic personality when Hamlet himself speaks of his idea of human beings and the universe. (The following excerpt comes not from the original version of Hamlet but from the modern version because the original version, written in old English in the 16th century, is very hard for you to understand)

What a perfect invention a human is, how noble in his capacity to reason, how unlimited in thinking, how admirable in his shape and movement, how angelic in action, how godlike in understanding! There's nothing more beautiful. We surpass all other animals exactly know what Hamlet used to be like in the beginning of the play and how his personality has drastically changed as time goes by.

Oh, how noble his mind used to be, and how lost he is now! He used to have a gentleman's grace, a scholar's wit, and a soldier's strength. He used to be the jewel of our country, the obvious heir to the throne, the one everyone admired and imitated. And now he has fallen so low!

The unparalleled appearance and nobility he had in the full bloom of his youth has been ruined by madness.

Ophelia's words show us that Hamlet was the owner of "the noblest and most superior reason" as a young man who was the hope of the country, Denmark. However, after his mother Gertrude's hasty remarriage with his uncle Claudius, his optimistic view of humans and the universe are utterly shattered, resulting from discovering animalism in humans and suffering from disillusionment with humans. When

But through the following Ophelia's words below in Act III, Scene I, we can he discovers evil through political corruption of his uncle, believed to be a legitimate heir to the throne, and ethical and sexual corruption of his mother, believed to be a woman of all virtues, he becomes disgusted with himself as well as the whole human race and the world. In particular, considering that human sublime reason and morality have fallen, he becomes lethargic in the face of total corruption of humans and the world, and his mental impact becomes even greater. At this point, he must choose and find the philosophical meaning of his life in the stoic patience or in an honorable initiation of action for revenge. Hamlet's these psychological conflicts reveal in the most famous monologue in Act III, Scene 1. Would you feel his overwhelmed emotion from his serious psychological conflicts?

To be or not to be: that is question Is it nobler to put up with all the nasty things that luck throws your way, or to fight against all those troubles by simply putting an end to them once and for all?

These phrases perfectly deliver us how serious Hamlet's psychological conflicts are, and how painful his agony is. I really hope that the excerpts from Hamlet will be helpful for you to build up your communication skills as well as have a good time to enjoy a great tragedy. 

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