This post has been moved forward, from May 5th, where it originally was reviewed. See the review of "Shakespeare The Invention of the Human, by Harold Bloom" which is yesterdays post. Also she the "Literary Favorites" Tab for the current post on Shakespeare, or the Past Reviews for other reviews.
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, usually just referred to as Hamlet takes place in Denmark. Claudius has murdered his brother, the King, and married his widow to take over the Kingdom. The Ghost of Hamlet’s father appears to Hamlet and the play focuses on Prince Hamlet’s revenge.
Hamlet is one of if not the most performed plays of Shakespeare and is his longest play. William Shakespeare is considered the master of the human condition. That must mean all that a life encounters but here one of those conditions is death.
In Hamlet Act 3 the conditions of prayer, repentance, and perhaps murder is considered. Claudius wants to kill the King, who is watching a play, and so he waits for a chance to do so. After the play Claudius goes to do his deed and overhears him praying. He hesitates and waits. He fears that being killed in the act of prayer, may be like confession to God, would enable the person to go directly to heaven. Claudius leaves and Hamlet finishes his prayer and says these words:
"My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.
Is it just that prayer is often insincere? Is it that insincerity is judged by a God as He hears the words, or is it that the person knows as he prays that he doesn't mean it? He knows he didn't put much thought into?
What about words with thoughts? What does that really mean? How does that work? Is it enough, to have deep thoughts before speaking, to make what you say sincere? Does it take a lot of thought or is a certain amount of time required?
Maybe the human condition, as far as getting your words "up" and heard, is just one of intent? Are prayers offered to get gain and forgiveness, or to express sorrow or is it none of these?
These questions bring substance to the expression: "words fly up". Shakespeare seems to know that praying is something that needs some pondering
Quotes by William Shakespeare
There is nothing good or bad, only thinking makes it so.- Hamlet
Hell is empty and the devils are here.- William Shakespeare
Though this be madness yet their is method in it.- William Shakespeare