Research/Analysis Of Hamlet's Character Research Papers Examples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Shakespeare, Hamlet, Family, Character, Revenge, Parents, Father, Death

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/03/01

“The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” is a play written by William Shakespeare in the 16-th century. The play is rather significant in the modern world as it raises such themes as love and friendship, madness, devastation and revenge. Many of these themes are still accurate nowadays. Moreover, in his play Shakespeare depicted a new type a character – a humanist who was eager to change the world. Hamlet is considered to be one of the most Shakespeare’s complicated characters. Thus, this character possesses a lot of virtues and positive qualities as well as flaws and weaknesses, he is intelligent but also indecisive, wise and at the same time insane. Even today it is still hard to decide whether Hamlet is a hero or a villain. But it is evident that Hamlet’s character is definitely an extraordinary character that still intrigues the readers’ minds.
It should be also noted that Hamlet’s mental state has greatly changed when he learned that it was mainly his uncle Claudius who killed his father. The young man mourned over his father and was truly devastated by his death. Thus, Smith states that “Hamlet’s obsessive pessimism also begins to affect all of his relationships and becomes a large part of who he is as a character” (Smith). It is true that in his frustration Hamlet was rude to his close friends and relatives. He was rude to Polonius, Ophelia and even to his mother Gertrude. Moreover, quite soon his frustration turned into anger, especially in relation to Claudius. Hamlet made a promise to his father that he would retaliate upon Claudius. The protagonist decided to take revenge upon Claudius and in such a way to restore justice in his kingdom. Hamlet called Claudius a villain who destroyed his life when he killed his father and married to his mother. Therefore, Hamlet states: “A villain kills my father; and for that, / I, his sole son, do this same villain send / To heaven” (3.3 2359-61). The main character used these words as a proof that it was a right decision to take vengeance upon the betrayer. Moreover, Hamlet was so obsessed with the idea of revenge that he simply became mad about it. He acted strangely, always changed his behavior, and completely forgot about everyone who surrounded him. This is how Gertrude describes her son’s state: “Mad as the seas and wind, when both contend. / Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit” (4.1, 2633-34). Saying this, Gertrude claims that her son became insane. Hamlet was also rude to his friends. It is possible to say that to a certain extent he is guilty of many deaths in the play (Ophelia, Polonius). It is true that “Hamlet has been behaving oddly and it behoves friends to be concerned” (Jacobson). Nevertheless, Hamlet didn’t care about what other people thought of him, he was only preoccupied with the idea of revenge. In fact, the theme of revenge is one of the most important themes in the play.
At the same time it is important to mention that Hamlet was still indecisive and was not sure whether it was right to take revenge upon Claudius. In fact, Hamlet differed from all the other characters of the play. Thus he was a humanist who used to believe that a person is capable of ideal thoughts, beautiful acts and doings. Hamlet was not sure that he had the right to shape the future of people. Moreover, the young prince was an intelligent and admirable man. He argued whether it was right to fight with evil with the help of evil. Hamlet also questioned if the death was the best resolution. That is precisely why the protagonist was indecisive and it took him so long to make up his mind. Hamlet suffered from inner conflict and struggle with himself.
It should be noted that Hamlet’s inner struggle is mainly revealed through his famous monologue “To be or not to be”. In this monologue the protagonist of the story tries to find out what is better: to fight with the imperfect world and the society in which he lives or to get over it and to die. Thus, Hamlet wonders:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer.

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep; (3.1, 1749-53)
So, mainly this question was Hamlet’s number one concern. The character couldn’t decide what he should do next, what was the right step. Hamlet argued whether he should fight or die. He felt himself lost and started to believe that his death would be the perfect resolution of the problem. The prince of Denmark didn’t see any way out as he believed that Claudius’s death would not necessarily change anything. He thought that his death would not change the society which was already full of lies and hypocrisy. Probably, if Hamlet didn’t promise the ghost of his father to take revenge upon his villain, he wouldn’t fulfill his idea. Being a man of virtues, the main character of the story delayed the implementation of revenge to the last moment.
Considering all these facts it is possible to say that Hamlet is one of the most controversial characters in literature. He tries to use his intellect but often acts in accordance with his emotions. At first, he pretends to be mad, and then he really becomes such. It is impossible to predict what he is going to do next. Thus, “He is paradoxical and surprising, and, therefore, confounding because he subverts others’ expectations and never reacts with a predictable response to his own emotions or the expectations of other characters” (Smith). It is possible to admire and to criticize him at the same time.

Works cited

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. OpenSourceSakespeare. Web. 17 Apr. 2015
Jacobson, Howard. “Book Of A Lifetime: Hamlet, By William Shakespeare”. The Independent. 6 Aug. 2006. Web. 17 Apr. 2015
Smith, Nicole. “Full Character Analysis of Hamlet” ArticleMyriad. 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 17 Apr. 2015
Corbett, Bob. “Hamlet”. Webster University. Jun. 2010. Web. 17 Apr. 2015

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"Research/Analysis Of Hamlet's Character Research Papers Examples," Free Essay Examples -, 01-Mar-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 24-May-2022].
Research/Analysis Of Hamlet's Character Research Papers Examples. Free Essay Examples - Published Mar 01, 2021. Accessed May 24, 2022.

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