Critical Review on Hamlet

Topics: Hamlet, The Spanish Tragedy, Characters in Hamlet Pages: 5 (1858 words) Published: October 16, 2011
HAMLET is an eventful play created by Shakespeare which shows how revenge can bring such a negative effect on the people around the avengers that guilt is the obvious result. Hamlet is a man of high status who goes through the death of his father, his mother’s marriage to his uncle, and his discovery that his father was murdered by his uncle. The character of Hamlet portrays a son who will risk everything to get revenge for his father’s death, and considering the revenge Hamlet seeks, the theme of revenge and guilt are prominent throughout the entire play.

Hamlet has no idea that his father was murdered until the ghost of King Hamlet appears to him and tells him of it. Hamlet’s main task is to find proof of the accusation that the ghost has made. Throughout his quest, doubts are evident, but are soon replaced with the convincing proof which Hamlet discovers after he puts on a play called THE MOUSETRAP. This play reenacts the murder of Hamlet’s father which causes Claudius to become very uncomfortable because he is truly guilty.

There can be a couple ways of looking at Hamlet’s character. “Hamlet has been subject to more analyses than almost any other character in literature.” There are two main ideas that are often thought of when it comes to the character of Hamlet. The first of these theories would be that he was truly insane or has an obsession problem which causes personality flaw. The other idea many people have is that he is a genius and a hero. Hamlet “was put to a supreme test of character and in the end triumphed over the moral problem he was confronted with, thus winning a very real spiritual victory in the face of death.” The author expresses his own opinion of Hamlet being more of a hero with fine qualities than a madman who is cowardly and a hopeless dreamer (Utter 138). Multiple sides of Hamlet’s character are revealed throughout the play of HAMLET. James Fisher who has given his review of HAMLET in the Theatre Journal describes how Branagh, who played the role of Hamlet in the Barbican Theatre in London, has a significant grasp of his role, and the capability to speak the language allows him to bring the character of Hamlet to life. Hamlet is a character who has a powerful presence. He has a mocking humor along with some cruelty. Even though he comes across in a harsh manner, Hamlet shows some good-humored affection along with kindness. He is able to pretend his madness with quality craftiness and does not give away his real goal of getting revenge (553-554). Hamlet has a cleverness and intelligence that allows him to think of situations in a different perspective. He often gives a sense of mystery about him that the other characters have a hard time understanding. Polonius tries to understand and figure out the reasoning behind Hamlet’s madness or mystery, but never comes to a full realization of the reason. Polonius thinks that Hamlet’s madness is due to his love for Ophelia, but after spying on him, he concludes that it cannot be a cause of a human emotion but some intellectual or philosophical problem. He considers that through some of Hamlet’s wrong decisions, he will be able to find the right way out, but after watching him carry out his revenge, it reveals that one wrong decision will only lead to another. Hamlet in his thoughts decides that his show of grief, his public appearance, and his personality cannot represent who he truly is by itself. He believes these signs are what most people use to understand each other and decide where they belong. However, Hamlet’s mind sets him apart from the other characters because he does not use universal human experiences to understand people, but has a particular way of doing it himself. Hamlet has to make sure he succeeds in making people believe he is mad because even though the signs cannot reveal who he is completely, it does help (Skulsky 477). Hamlet is an honest man but is only able to share his true self with Horatio. He is able to have the...
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