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Character of Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

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Character of Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet


Hamlet is a man of many discoveries. The tragic hero in Shakespeare's Hamlet undergoes many changes throughout the play. His mindset is set deep and far away from the physical world that both helps him and hinders him in his plight for revenge against his uncle, Claudius, and his mother.

When Hamlet is first introduced in Act I, Scene II, the reader is shown the depths of his sorrow. The King asks Hamlet "How is it that the clouds still hang on you" and the Queen tells him to "Cast thy nighted color off." By these comments one can envision Hamlet as someone who appears and radiates out his sorrow over his father's death. Hamlet lets the reader know that his sorrow runs much deeper than his clothes and sorrow filled eyes, saying about them that "These indeed seem, for they are actions that a man might play. But I have that within which passes show; These but the trappings and the suits of woe." In this statement Hamlet pours out that his sorrows courses through every part of him.

This sadness plays a huge part in Hamlet's overall mindset, his sorrow over his father's death has left him empty and without the will to live and prosper in this world. "O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fixed His cannon `gainst self- slaughter!" Hamlet is contemplating suicide here, but understands that he has no chances for a peaceful after life if he takes his own life. He needs to find peace in the afterlife because his thoughts about this world are this: "How weary stale, flat and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! `Tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed." Hamlet finds n...


... middle of paper ...


...s of Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He returns secretly to Denmark and is prepared to and does carry out the Commandment.

Throughout Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet finds the strength and drive to carry out the wishes of the Ghost of his father. His weakness laid in his sorrow over the death and in his fascination with the divine and eternal, where he found his strength was not from within himself but in other's abilities to devote themselves emotionally or with their lives to someone else's battle.

Sources Consulted

Greenblatt, Stephen. Shakespearean Negotiations: Inside the Mind of Hamlet. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998. 

Nevo, Ruth. Comic Transformations in Shakespeare. London: Methuen & Co., 1980.

Shakespeare, William. The New Cambridge Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Ed. Philip Edwards. Cambridge: Cambridge U P, 1985.


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