All’s Well that Ends Well?

This title which refers to another one of Shakespeare’s plays often implies that whatever the situation is, in the end there will be a happy ending. Did Hamlet get his happy ending? He originally set out to avenge his father’s death by killing his uncle, (which he managed to accomplish even if it was accidental) but I wonder if he was satisfied with the entire outcome. In Act V the body count continued to add up which I’m sure wasn’t in Hamlet’s plan, as his main concern was his uncle and determining if his mother was involved in his father’s death. Hamlet orchestrates the death of his good friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern by getting a hold of their orders. Why did he suspect the letter meant ill will towards him, because his uncle sent it? So not only are his good friends killed, but he finds out that Ophelia is dead as well.
I think after this betrayal and loss of his true love “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love, make up my sum.” (5.1 255) he was more at peace with the thought of killing Claudius. However by this time Claudius knew what he had in mind and it ruined the element of surprise. Claudius now appeared to have the upper hand. The mock duel scene shows how not only Hamlet, but Laertes and Claudius all get what they wanted which I’m sure wasn’t Hamlet’s intention. Laertes gets justice for his father and sister, Claudius sees Hamlet stabbed but dies before Hamlet does. In the end I do think Hamlet got his happy ending. Despite the losses he suffered including both parents, he did avenge his father by witnessing his uncle’s guilt and being the partial cause of Claudius’ death by stabbing him with the poisoned tip and forcing him to drink poison “The point envenomed too? Then, venom, to thy work. Drink off this potion. Follow my mother.” (5.2 264-269) For a brief moment Hamlet  was also the King he should have been after his father’s death and was able to give the kingdom to someone of his choosing.

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3 thoughts on “All’s Well that Ends Well?

  1. ciandalton94

    I agree completely with your blog. He does get his happy ending. Although Ophelia died and it turns out Laertes and Hamlet could have put their differences behind them, he sees Claudius die and can then pass off his rightful kingdom to someone who would deal with it properly.

    Reply
  2. sielittrell

    I don’t think that this play has a happy ending and I disagree about Hamlet getting his happy ending. I suppose in one sense he did because he got revenge on Claudius but, so many people died during the process, his friends, his lover, his parents, that I would not classify that as being happy.

    Reply
  3. melissav92

    I also agree that in a way Hamlet did actually receive a happy ending. He avenged his fathers death and the Kingdom is now back in rightful hands. So if you look past the death count and focus on the bigger picture, it is definitely arguable that things ended on a happy note.

    Reply

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