Hamlet: a Dying Hero’s Life

Hamlet a story of a young man who while off at school comes back and is in a world of uncertainty. Hamlet is set in motion by the three stages of the monomyth: the departure, the initiation, and the return. The departure or call of adventure, in Hamlet starts when his father comes to him demanding that he avenge his father’s death. The initiation, or the ultimate boon, occurs when Hamlet fulfills his father’s wish. The return does not occur in Hamlet due to the fact that he dies, but if he would have lived, he would have been the king since he was considered the next in line for the throne. Hamlet’s life is a variation of the three stages of the monomyth.

The departure of Hamlet starts when the ghost of the father of Hamlet appears to him and says, “Thus was I, sleeping, by a brothers hand of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch’d, cut off even in the blossoms of my sin, unhousel’d, disappointed, unaneled, no reckoning made.” He states that his brother Claudius has killed him, and he is seeking for Hamlet to avenge him. Hamlet is however unsure how to react to his wishes on whether he really wants to kill Claudius or not. Instead, Hamlet relies on his supernatural aid to help him in this quest. This happens when the ghost appears to him before he goes speaking with his mother to tell her to stop being with Claudius to which she refuses. He then decides to put on a play to see if what the ghost said is true. After finding out that what the ghost said is true, Hamlet attempts to kill Claudius when in reality he ends up killing Polonius. This was when he crossed the threshold. When he states, “[W]hereon the numbers cannot try the cause, which is no tomb enough and continent to hide the slain? O, from his time forth my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth.” This shows that Hamlet is making it easier in his mind to continue to spill blood after he has already done it.

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The initiation follows when he approaches the father figure and atonement moment when he decides whether he wants to commit suicide or to live to fulfill his father’s wishes. This in turn helps him rise to the cause and helps him become king-like. He exercises this king-like authority when he sends his two once-friends off to be killed. Finally he hits the ultimate boon when he forces Claudius to drink the cup of poison. It states, “Woo’t drink up easel, eat a crocodile? I’ll do’t. Dost thou come here to whine, to outface me with leaping in her grave?” this shows that he has finally reached the point of completion of his father’s wishes. He is at peace.

The return in hamlet is something that doesn’t occur because he ends up dying. We know that if Hamlet would have returned, then he would have been king, since he was the prince to a king, and was honored for his sacrifice. We know this by the text saying, “Bear hamlet like a soldier to the stage; for he was likely, had he been put on, to have proved most royal, and, for his passage, the soldiers music and the rites of war.”

The life of Hamlet is a variation of the three stages of the monomyth. The departure happened when he was called to adventure and in the end crossed the threshold. The initiation happened when he received the ultimate boon, and the return never happened because he was killed even though he completed the journey by fulfilling his father’s wishes.

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Hamlet: a Dying Hero’s Life. (2022, Feb 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/hamlet-a-dying-heros-life/