Shakespeare: Hamlet Characterisation

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  • Topic: Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, Tragedy
  • Pages : 3 (931 words )
  • Download(s) : 402
  • Published : August 13, 2011
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“To what extent has your personal response to Hamlet been shaped by the enduring power of Shakespeare’s characterisation of Hamlet?” In the tragic play Hamlet, the character Hamlet was undoubtedly one of William Shakespeare’s greatest characterisations. The overall effect Hamlet has on the audience due to his many human weaknesses is overwhelming. Hamlet’s character, heavily manipulated and influenced by his father’s murder by his uncle, displays qualities such as his; indecisiveness, uncertainties, apparent madness and revenge and vengeance for his father’s murder. Hamlets indecisiveness could be seen as one of Hamlet’s greatest character flaws. From William Hazlitt’s point of view, Hamlet is not a character marked by strength will or even of passion but a character marked by refinement of thought and sentiment. Hamlet seems to be lacking the necessary ability of deliberate action, and is only rushed into extreme measure on the spur of the moment when he has no time to think. This can be seen in Act 4, Scene 4 when Hamlet purposely delays killing his uncle because he suddenly thinks to indulge his imagination in reflecting upon the outrageousness of the crime and purifying his schemes of vengeance, than to put them into practice immediately. “To be or not be: that is the question…” This soliloquy, probably the most famous speech in the English language, is spoken by hamlet in Act 3 scene 1. Hamlet poses the problem of whether to commit suicide as a logical question, to live or not to live. In addition to its crucial thematic content, this speech is important for what it reveals about the quality of Hamlets mind. His deeply passionate nature is complemented by a relentlessly logical intellect, which works furiously to find a solution to misery. He has turned to religion and found it inadequate to help him either kill himself or avenge his father’s murder by killing Claudius. Here, he turns to a logical philosophical inquiry and finds it equally frustrating....
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