Analysis of Hamlet’s Character
Shakespeare’s title character, Hamlet, is revealed as overly analytical and indecisive through his attempts to avenge his father’s death. Throughout the play, Hamlet is overwhelmed by his feeling of revenge but hesitates in the murder of Claudius due to his fear of making the wrong decision. Hamlet is held back by his excessive consideration of religious morals and beliefs and his fear of completing his knowledge with action. Hamlet’s thoughts and actions are windows into this mindset. This indecisiveness is a part of Hamlet’s character for most of the play, but he eventually undergoes a change in his attitude after returning from his voyage to England. He begins to exhibit an intention of immediate bloody revenge on Claudius. One hindrance to Hamlet’s ability to execute actions is his religious reasoning. He often thinks about the afterlife and the quality of a person’s afterlife according to his situation at the moment of death. He himself contemplates committing suicide and wishes that “the Everlasting had not fix’d/ His cannon ‘gainst self- slaughter!”(Act I/Scene II). This shows a struggle within Hamlet. While he detests the conditions of his life and wishes he could end it, he concludes that he would rather continue living in “an unweeded garden” than live in hell as a consequence of suicide (Act I/Scene II). In the same way, Hamlet wants to avenge his father’s death yet desires to carry it out in a moral and accepting way. Hamlet’s awareness of morals is apparent, but there is an obvious impossibility of murdering Claudius within these morals. It is this form of consideration that allows Hamlet’s indecisiveness to be seen in his character. Hamlet’s intent to uphold his father’s request becomes questionable with his delay in the murder of Claudius. Hamlet is given the perfect opportunity to kill Claudius, but he feels that Claudius is not in an appropriate state for his death. Claudius...
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