Hamlet Character Sketch

Topics: Existentialism, Hamlet, Psychology Pages: 2 (584 words) Published: October 31, 2012

In Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet”, Hamlet is searching through existential questions for the answers to life after his fathers tragic passing. Hamlet is searching for answers to life that every mortal has come to ask himself at some point and time: “What is mankind? Who am I? What is the meaning of life?” Many renown scholars have searched the world over, and found no answer for their wondering soul. This desolate place of bereavement is where we find Hamlet seemingly wallowing in self loathing.

Prince Hamlet is away at the university reaping the proverbial fields of knowledge when word comes of his father, king of Denmark’s, tragic death. The ghost of the king comes to Hamlet and tells him that his uncle Claudius was the murderer. Throughout the rest of the play, Hamlet searches for any mere shred of evidence to prove Claudius’ guilt. Hamlet is overly rational, pensive, at times even brooding; he often uses his extreme intellect to hide his emotions. His extreme logic makes him deter vengeance on Claudius until the final scene of the play where he murders Claudius. Killing Claudius not only ends the plot to this play, but evolves Hamlet’s character in proving he is a true existential.

In the early scenes, Hamlet acts, thinks, and processes like a well oiled machine of knowledge. He acts completely on his intellect, shutting out all emotion. For example, early in the play when Hamlet sees his father’s ghost, he is completely confused as to how to act. His intellect tells him he’s crazy, but his emotion fully believes it was his father he saw. As usual, Hamlet’s intellect wins the argument, and he retains doubts about the authenticity of the appearance. However, it does leave enough of a question that Hamlet devises a plan to reenact what the ghost told him.

Although Hamlet seems monotone, with a complete lack of emotion, Hamlet’s solitude starts to fall. Line by line, Hamlet’s shell starts to crack, emotion seeping out like an...
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