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Word Count: 638
Hamlet Nothing Matters Do we matter Will anything we do endure These are questions from existentialism The dictionary defines existentialism as the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for his acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad Merriam Webster In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare Hamlet struggles with the concept that nothing from our lives last and time grinds everything away Hamlets major conflict was his existentialist view of the world Does a prince of Denmark have any worth if Alexander died Alexander was buried Alexander returneth into dust the dust is earth of earth we make loam and why of that loam whereto he was converted might they not stop a beer-barrel Imperious Caesar dead and turnd to clay Might stop a hole to keep the wind away V i 206-209 Hamlet saw examples of lives crumbling to dust Twenty thousand men and twenty thousand ducats are spent on A little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name To pay five ducats five I would not farm it IV iiii 19-21 These lives are expended for nothing and even Hamlets father a good and wise king was murdered with only Hamlet mourning for an extended period The kings wife said Seek for thy noble father in the dust Thou knowst tis common all that lives must die Passing through nature to eternity I ii 72-74 and she later encourages Hamlet to stop pretending to mourn for his father Hamlet protests that he feels actual grief for his father but he fears that his fathers life is already becoming meaningless This existentialist worldview forced Hamlet to overanalyze before action because he wanted his acts to have a lasting impact He becomes too contemplative about decisions He would not murder Claudius in spite of the ghost of his father ordering him
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