2007
04.07

The decisive Hamlet

Hamlet (of the to be or not to be fame) is usually criticized for his indecisiveness. He is the ultimate flip-flopper that can not make up his mind, and end up killing everybody (including himself).

But let us consider the alternative **decisive Hamlet** – he sees the vision of his father telling him that his mother conspired with the current king to kill him, and he immediately goes and kill them both.

One advantage of the decisive Hamlet is that the play would have been much shorter, a thing that generations of students would have been thankful for. But if you consider the moral ground that the Decisive Hamlet stands on, one would realize that it is a swamp. Indeed, motivated by a delusion he goes and kill his mother and the current king. One might consider such a person to be delusional, murderer and insane. Definitely not a moral person.

And this is where the original Hamlet wins – he dies a moral person. It is not clear that the Decisive Hamlet would have survived in the long run, living under the cloud of his own morality, as judged by himself and the world around him.

That does not imply that the Original Hamlet is to be admired. Certainly, there are infinite alternative Hamlets in between the Original and the Decisive Hamlets, and maybe one of them could have done much better. But the original Hamlet get trusted into a terrible situation, gets the original criminals punished, and dies with his morality intact. Maybe still a loser, but a respectable loser at that.

The real tragedy might be the failure to accept that there is no winning strategy to the situation that Hamlet is in. No victory is possible. A problem without an acceptable solution.

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