Hamlet identifies with an adolescent of the 1990s more thanhe does with the youth of his own time.
Hamlet is immature,sarcastic, and takes action during the heat of passion whichis very much like the behavior of the youth in the 1990s.Love, control over action, and the ability to overcomedepression are just a few ways to prove maturity. It isobvious Hamlet loves Ophelia in his own way .
. . thecelestial and my souls idol, the most beautified Ophelia . . .(Hamlet. II, ii, 109- 110), but his way is not mature enoughto include trust toward his lover.
The trust that Hamletshould have given her was the key of his madness. Thismadness that Hamlet cannot trust his love with is the samemadness that he loses total control over because of hisimmaturity; it then causes him to do things, such as killPolonius, that a person that was mature could stop. Themadness that Hamlet assumes is understandable but he cannever get over the actual death of his father by still wearingblack a year later, and the hasty marriage of his mother toClaudius. Compared to Horatio who is calm and coolthroughout the play, and Fortinbras who collected an armyto fight for his uncles land and honor, Hamlets maturitylevel for his time is low, especially for being a prince. TodayHamlets age group is more immature than during his owntime so he relates to the youth of the 1990s better than hedoes with the adolescents of his own time. Sarcasm, andblunt rudeness is often used by Hamlet in order to offendpeople that, during his time, he should not have offended.Hamlet often used the hasty marriage of his mother to offendClaudius.
The first time that Hamlet offends Claudius in thecompany of another person is when Claudius is supposed tobe helping cheer Hamlet up. A little more than kin, and lessthan kind. (Hamlet. I, ii, 65) is just as rude during Hamletstime as almost anything that a person could say today, it justtakes a little thinking for the people of today to get whatHamlet means. The second person that Hamlet is openlyrude to is Polonius. Hamlet, in front of Claudius andGertrude, insults Polonius by calling him . .
. a fishmonger.(Hamlet. II, ii, 174) This is not the only way that Hamletoffended Polonius. Hamlet offended Polonius by insulting hisdaughter.
Hamlet is crude in his own day by asking OpheliaLady, shall I lie in your lap? (Hamlet. III, ii, 115) What isstrange about Hamlets ability to use his mouth is that theyouth of today is able to use the same kinds of sarcasm andrudeness effectively, just as Hamlet does, but with Hamletspolitical position he should not have offended the peoplesuch as his stepfather. Being radical and acting on impulse issomething that Hamlet had to use in order to get his workfinished. Hamlet, having a hard time getting revenge, appliedhis anger from the judgment of his mother to kill who hethought was Claudius. Hamlet also needed to be on his owndeathbed in order to finally get angry enough to kill Claudius.The way that Hamlet uses his anger to take action is verymuch like the youth today in the fact that if someone has aproblem with log cutting, for example, they hold protests andtake action against that problem.
The second way thatHamlet is extreme is when he goes with the ghost that lookslike his father even though his friends warn him that the ghostmay be evil and . . .tempt you toward the flood .
. . Or tothe dreadful summit of the cliff .
. . (Hamlet. I, iv, 69-70).
Ifthe prince was thinking right he would not have gone withthe ghost that resembled the old . . .
King, father, royalDane . . . (Hamlet. I, iv, 45) Hamlets radical actions donot just prove that he is immature but also proves that heneeds action from outside sources in order to get a reactionfrom himself. This is just like the youth of the 1990s in therespect that if something is wrong, such as the cutting of anold growth forest, then they usually act against it in dramaticways. An immature, mouthy, extremist is what adolescentsof the 1990s are compared to the youth of Hamlets time.The inability to love maturely, rudeness towards authority,and reacting to anger is what the youth of the 1990s andHamlet have in common.
Hamlet would have a much easiertime living during these times than his own. Hamletsimmaturity, rudeness, and radical behavior is just liketodays youth and that is the insight that Hamlet has towardsBibliography:Hamlet