FOR SHAKESPEARE’S YEAR – HE WAS ALSO A TEACHER OF NONKILLINGPosted: 2016/04/08
Hamlet contemplates killing himself when he finds out the truth about the tragic death of his father and that his
mother was an accomplice to the murder. “To Be or Not to be “in my view is – “should
I go on existing or not?” This is the interpretation I gave to my students at Haifa University and at
Pennsylvania University, where I taught a course on Shakespeare. However, Shakespeare is on the
side of life, not of death, and that is why his hero, Hamlet, decides to live, despite his horrifying discovery.
It is evident in all of Shakespeare’s tragedies and even in some of his comedies,
that he strongly condemns violence and killing!
Look at the horrifying bloodbath at the end of Hamlet, when his final speech is a clear call to: NO MORE KILLING!
The same message of Nonkilling we get in Othello, in Romeo and Juliet, in The Tempest, in Anthony and Cleopatra, etc…
In each of Shakespeare’s tragedies the moral message of the whole play is like in Hamlet, a strong condemnation of
the futility and the pity of spilled human blood, and the sheer denial that killing can help to solve conflicts.
Shakespeare, in addition to all his great qualities, was not only a literary genius, he was also a great humanist
and a wonderful teacher of literary NONKILLING!
With Nonkilling wishes,
Prof. Ada Aharoni
IFLAC Founding |President
International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace