Hamlet: The Sentimental Dreamer
The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark is William Shakespeare’s most well-known and analyzed work of literature. As the play unfolds, Hamlet has to face the difficult task of seeking revenge against his uncle, Claudius, for the murder of his father, King Hamlet. Hamlet has captured audiences and readers for centuries and has caused much inquiry and debate. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a very psychologically complex character. Throughout the play, Hamlet conveys two different sides; the young, emotional and intelligent prince, who is committed to honesty and loyalty; and his destructive and impulsive side which led to the death of Polonius and nonchalantly sent Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths as well. The central question of why Hamlet let so much time elapse before he took revenge against Claudius is frequently disputed by critics and as a result, many theories have been developed. H.N. Hudson, a respected Shakespearean critic, quoted, “It is easy to invent with plausibility almost any theory respecting Hamlet, but very hard to make any theory comprehend the whole subject.” After reading Hamlet, H.N. Hudson’s assertion can be disproved. The theory that best supports Hamlet’s reason of delay, in my perspective, is the theory that Hamlet is a sentimental dreamer. This theory disproves Hudson’s assertion of that there is no theory that comprehends the entire subject because throughout the play there are many events where Hamlet is more a dreamer than a man of action. Hamlet is a sentimental dreamer because words are more of his natural weapon as he too often deliberated his vindictive plans. By over-analyzing, Hamlet loses power to his actions, therefore delaying his act of revenge. Romantic critics of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, viewed Hamlet as an appealing, young and intelligent man, yet he was incapable of carrying out positive action (Coleridge 344). This supports the theory that Hamlet was a sentimental...
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