Hamlet - Hero or Villain

Topics: Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet, Gertrude Pages: 3 (1113 words) Published: May 3, 2011
Hamlet - a villain and a hero.

Hamlet comes across as both a hero and a villain throughout ‘Hamlet’ at different intervals. His loyalty, morality, honesty and popularity are certainly heroic traits however one can’t deny his villainous ways in his dealings with Ophelia, his killing of Polonius and most importantly his delaying of killing Claudius. Hamlet is full of faults yet full of honourable intentions. His negative qualities are slim compared to his heroic qualities therefore I believe Hamlet to be a hero, a “prince among men”.

When we first meet Hamlet, he is dressed all in black and conveys all the “moods, forms and shapes of grief”. This depression is caused by his father’s recent death. Gertrude, his mother and Claudius, his uncle have noticed however Hamlet’s melancholy is much more intense than he is letting on “too too sullied flesh would melt”. He’s unable to forget his father even when all those around him have resumed their merry lives. “I shall not look upon his like again”. This demonstrates the loyal side of the prince. His grief is further intensified by the cold-hearted actions of his mother. Gertrude married her brother in law, Claudius “within a month” of her husband’s death. Hamlet is unable to understand her disloyalty “a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer”. He believes he is living in a society with no standards and so becomes disillusioned with life “how weary, stale flat and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world”. His loyalty is certainly a heroic trait.

The anger he felt towards his mother had a very a negative effect on a Hamlet. He began to feel anger at women as a whole which leads me to his villainous dealings with Ophelia. Hamlet feels neglected when Ophelia as ordered by her father, Polonius repels his letters. He condemns all women with the criticism of moral fickleness “fraility thy name is woman”. He hates Ophelia one moment and longs to engage in sexual intimacy with her...
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