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Word Count: 1,911
In William Shakespeares play Hamlet the concept of cultural identity is explored through Hamlets isolation which is created by the conflict between his duty to his father and his duties to the monarchy and society Hamlet is isolated from his society due to his turbulent emotions which result from his indecision on how to respond to his fathers murder Hamlets duty as a son is to avenge his fathers death and he would be supported in his actions by society if the murderer was believed to be guilty Hamlets duty as a citizen and a Prince is to protect the King and to ensure stability in the monarchy In order for Hamlet to revenge his father he would have to kill the King which creates a conflict between his two primary duties Because of this Hamlet finds it difficult to decide how to proceed and which duty takes precedence and Hamlet decides to gather evidence as proof of Claudius guilt so that his revenge is justified to society and to himself The unholiness of murdering a king who is also a close relative is highlighted by Claudius and this allows the audience to better understand the conflict and the indecision facing Hamlet Hamlets duty as a son in his social context and circumstances is one which encourages him to seek revenge for his murdered father For Hamlet to be perceived as a noble and worthy son he would have to kill his fathers murderer and his actions would be supported by society as long as the murderer was believed to be guilty In Hamlets first soliloquy after the encounter with the ghost early in the play when the ghost tells him that he must seek revenge Hamlet quickly acknowledges his duty as a son Hamlet Ill wipe away all trivial fond records All saws of books all forms all pressures past And thy commandment all alone shall live Within the book and volume
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