Hamlet Analysis Report
It is debatable whether or not Hamlet is one of the greatest dramatic characters ever made. The moment we are introduced to Hamlet, many readers can recognize his intensity and the passion that he possesses. Hamlet holds many negative qualities such as indecisiveness, hate, obsession, brutality, and spontaneity. Regardless of these negative qualities, Hamlet is still the tragic hero and the Prince of Denmark. On the other hand, he has remarkable qualities that a hero should have such as bravery, passion, loyalty, respect, cautiousness, and dedication. We can see all of his qualities throughout this tragic play, but when we are introduced to him, we are given such a mysterious impression and it sets the tone for the play. In this report, I would like to analyze and talk about three of his qualities which I thought stood out the most: his indecisiveness, cautiousness, and madness. The first quality that I would like to talk about and analyze is his indecisiveness. When Hamlet had received the news that King Hamlet had died and his mother, Gertrude, had married the new king Claudius, his uncle, Hamlet is disgusted, cynical, and full of hatred. While everyone has gone on with their lives after King Hamlet’s death, Hamlet is still left to think and doubt about his father’s death. Gertrude tells Hamlet, “Seek for thy noble father in the dust. Thou know’st ‘tis common—all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity” (I.ii. 71-73), and Claudius says to Hamlet, “To give these mourning duties to your father, But you must know your father lost a father, That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound” (I.ii 88-90). Hamlets pain and misery is then more deepened because those around him are not mourning but quick to move on. Although Gertrude and Claudius have said those things, Hamlet is surely more hurt by the fact that his mother had married her brother-in-law within a short period of time after the Kings death. We cannot blame Hamlet for this emotion that he feels, for anyone in his situation would be disgusted and feel the same way that he does. Hamlet is then left to reminisce about his father on how much he had loved her queen, “But two months dead, nay, not o much, not two. So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr, so loving to my mother, that he might not beteem the winds of heaven visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth, Must I remember…?” (I.ii 138-143). Hamlet is then disgusted by the thought of his mother, and women in general, which affects his feelings towards Ophelia as well. Later on in the play, the turning point, Hamlet is faced with a ghost who claims to be the ghost of his father. This ghost describes to Hamlet who he is and what has truly happened. Everybody had known that King Hamlet had died by a poisonous snake in his garden, but the truth is that, “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown” (I.v 38-39). Hamlet carefully observes and listens to what the Ghost says and is later left with a bewildered attitude. The Ghost continually tempts and persuades Hamlet to take revenge for his father and kill Claudius. From here on out, we are left to see Hamlet contemplating on whether or not what the Ghost said was true or whether or not he has to kill his uncle. We are already left with an image that Hamlet has a grudge toward Claudius and after meeting the Ghost, Hamlet is now left to think whether he should take revenge or not. In Act III Scene IV, Claudius is kneeling down and praying. Hamlet is deciding whether or not he should kill the king right then and there but is constantly unable to make up his mind. Even if he were to take revenge right now, the king was praying, so by killing him, he would be send him to heaven. Hamlet shows his cautiousness in this scene, which I will be talking about later. Hamlet is constantly thinking about the “what ifs” while watching Claudius pray. Hamlet says, “I his sole son do this same villain...
Cited: Shakespeare, William, and Cyrus Hoy. Hamlet: An Authoritative Text, Intellectual Backgrounds, Extracts
from the Sources, Essays in Criticism. New York: Norton, 1963. Print.
Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures of Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. London [etc.:
MacMillan, 1974. Print
Mabillard, Amanda. Introduction to Hamlet. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (20 Nov. 2013)
< http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/hamlet/hamletcharacter.html >.
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