However, a case has been made  that at an early stage in Hamlet —with its apparent history of multiple revisions—Hamlet was presented as a sixteen-year-old. Several pieces of evidence support this view. Hamlet attends the University of Wittenberg, and members of the royalty and nobility (Elizabethan or medieval Danish) did not attend university at age 30. Additionally, a 30-year-old Prince Hamlet would clearly have been of ruling age. Given his great popularity (mentioned by Claudius), this would raise the question of why it was not he, rather than his uncle, who was elected to succeed to the throne upon the death of King Hamlet.
5. Suicide is an important theme in Hamlet. Discuss how the play treats the idea of suicide morally, religiously, and aesthetically, with particular attention to Hamlet’s two important statements about suicide: the “O, that this too too solid flesh would melt” soliloquy (–158) and the “To be, or not to be” soliloquy (–88). Why does Hamlet believe that, although capable of suicide, most human beings choose to live, despite the cruelty, pain, and injustice of the world?