Hamlet’s character drastically develops over the first four acts of Hamlet, and his character development is most evident through the soliloquys he delivers throughout the play. The most character development can be seen from the first soliloquy, to the second, the third, the sixth, and the seventh and final soliloquy. Hamlet’s inner conflict with his thoughts and his actions are well analyzed in his soliloquys, as well as his struggles with life and death, and his very own existence. He begins the play wondering what purpose he has in life now that his father is dead and his mother has remarried to his uncle. After finding out foul play was involved in his father’s death, he is motivated by revenge. Finally, he wonders how he can enact his revenge while continuously overthinking and overanalyzing his actions.
Throughout the Shakespearian play, Hamlet, the main character is given the overwhelming responsibility of avenging his father’s "foul and most unnatural murder" (I.iv.36). Such a burden can slowly drive a man off the deep end psychologically. Because of this, Hamlet’s disposition is extremely inconsistent and erratic throughout the play. At times he shows signs of uncontrollable insanity. Whenever he interacts with the characters he is wild, crazy, and plays a fool. At other times, he exemplifies intelligence and method in his madness. In instances when he is alone or with Horatio, he is civilized and sane. Hamlet goes through different stages of insanity throughout the story, but his neurotic and skeptical personality amplifies his
Losing a loved one can take a harsh hit on one’s frame of mind. In the Shakespearian play Hamlet, the death of Hamlets father caused many problems, all of which eventually lead up to the tragic death of Hamlet. Each event that happens in the play is impacted by reason, fate and emotion. The events throughout the play that lead to hamlets downfall are determined by the roles of reason, fate and emotion. These three roles are key factors of the play.
His mother and his uncle have married after only 2 months of Hamlet’s father’s death. This has caused Hamlet to be in a heavy state of anger, mixed with his already deep state of mourning. According to Theodore Lidz, these two states can lead to one thinking back on all the negative wishes one may have had in the past. Considering Hamlet’s relatively young age, death wishes upon a parent are not serious but they are common among children. “…and as most, if not all, children have sometimes had death wishes toward a parent, guilt over such wishes can become intense when the parent dies.” (Lidz 48) All of these emotions mixed together so early in the play could lead to a sense of depression.
In William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the playwright introduces the compelling, complex, and complicated character of the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet. In the events of the play, Hamlet swears revenge against his uncle for the foul murder of his father, the king. However, despite his intense catalyst, Hamlet reveals to be continuously torn between his motive of revenge and conflicted conscience, generating an inability to carry out his desired actions. While Hamlet possesses the passion and intellect to murder his uncle, Claudius, his actual inclination to act upon the murder directly opposes that of his powerfully emotional contemplations (S.T. Coleridge). Hamlet’s overzealous thoughts become unrealistic compared to his actual endeavors throughout the play.
In Hamlet, Hamlet knows that he must avenge the death of his father, but he is too indecisive, too self-doubting, to carry this out until he has no choice. His failings cause his downfall, and he exhibits some of the most basic human reactions and emotions.
Hamlet is undeniably an epic among all plays. Shakespeare’s command of storytelling and the meticulously sculpted layers of the play add to the sheer grandeur of the life of Hamlet and the multitude of forces acting against him. The complex dialogue, the magnificent story arches, and the archetypal themes are all essential to the understanding and enjoyment of Hamlet, but there is one particular subject matter that The Bard placed at the center of all the conflict and emotion of the play: grief. The Prince of Denmark’s burdened life after his father’s death is completely coerced by the tearing force of grief throughout his mental and emotional state of being. His purpose, his insanity, and ultimately his downfall stemmed from this encumbrance.
With Hamlet’s tragic flaw being his inability to act, he is plagued throughout the play by his immense intelligence and philosophical nature, which causes him to overanalyze each situation, rendering him unable to carry out any action in response. This is evident in the play by the frequent delay of acting out his father’s revenge due to the uncertainty of the evidence pertaining to his uncle’s crime. Hamlet’s inability to act creates a discourse between hamlet and his consciousness, generating an abundance of stress, which causes him to become increasingly frustrated as the play progresses. This frustration leads to him at moments in the play to behave in a rash and impulsive way or acting in an inappropriate manner, contradicting his methodical and reserved disposition. It is the consequences of these “inappropriate” actions that resurfaces at the plays end, to haunt the character, as Hamlet’s inability to act while using his renowned logic and intelligence ultimately leads to his eventual demise at the plays conclusion, due to his inability to act both “effectively” and “appropriately” in critical situations.
Hamlet does not only value his own morality, but also the morality of others. Besides worrying about his own morality, his mother's morality has much significance to him. As Robert Luyster states, "Hamlet would have Gertrude, like himself, become purified, but this can only be done through the acceding to consciousness' claim to be hard"(Luyster 77). Hamlet contemplates his every action. This problem eventually overwhelms him while also causing his madness. The depth of his thought concerning the murder of Claudius following Hamlet's play reveals his madness. "Reason and action are not opposed in Hamlet, but for most of the play, they fail to coalesce as either we or the characters would like them to" (Kastan 48).
Hamlet faces challenges throughout the play that try his inner strengths and test his ability to handle the situation. He is torn between wanting to seek justice, and avenge his father’s death. Hamlet is also caught up in an intricate web of lies and deceit, he is considered mad by most characters when in all actuality it is just playing off of the actions of others to benefit himself. He puts on different acts trying to hide the truth, which makes him seem sincerely mad to the people around him. The truth of the matter is that Hamlet can’t decide whether or not his convictions are accurate. This dilemma ultimately leads to not only the deaths of the main characters, but the downfall of the kingdom.
Throughout Hamlet, written by Shakespeare, Hamlet’s emotions, actions, and thoughts cause much trouble during the play. Hamlet encounters stages of sarcasm, inanity, suicidal tendencies/self-deprecation, and procreation/indecision which develop not only his personality but the play itself. Hamlet uses sarcasm to express his emotions, pretends to be insane (ultimately leading him to become truly insane), self-deprecates throughout the play due to family events, and procrastinates because he is indecisive. Hamlet encounters many life-altering events throughout the play such as his uncle poisoning his father and quickly remarrying Hamlet’s mother, to accidentally killing Polonius thinking it was Claudius, all the way to debating upon: his own
Hamlet is an intensely cerebral character marked by a desire to think things through and pick situations apart. As such, for the first three and a half scenes of Hamlet, Hamlet broods over his father’s death instead of taking action against Claudius, his father’s murderer. Hamlet finally acts because he experiences three intense emotional jolts that allow him to view his situation from a new perspective and spur him to action. Together, these emotional experiences alter his personal philosophy about the nature of death and God’s relationship with creation, and compel him to finally take decisive action.
From the beginning of the play, Hamlet is labelled as a heavy hearted and unhappy man. This is seen as “Hamlet’s Transformation” as the King called it. He has not always been like this. In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Prince Hamlet experiences many dilemmas that lead him to revenge and his transformation form good to evil. Shakespeare displays that revenge leads to insanity. Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, Hamlet’s uncle also known as his step-father, Claudius, and Hamlet’s dead father, King Hamlet, all drive Hamlet to lose his mind and become insane. This change in Hamlet is brought to him by devastating and life changing events that have recently happened, and did not only cause a mental reaction, but specifically a moral reaction.
In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses various characters to demonstrate the concept of passion versus reason. He uses his story to show the readers that passion and reason can both exist, but it is necessary to find a balance between the two. As evident in Prince Hamlet’s life, an overabundance of passion can be harmful to oneself and to others. Throughout the play, he faces an internal battle: he must choose between rationality and sentiment. This task becomes especially hard, however, when the ghost of Hamlet’s father comes back from the grave to share the horrible story of his murder. The late King has been poisoned and replaced by his own brother, Claudius, and, driven by sorrow and agony, Prince Hamlet decides to get revenge. Hamlet’s plan is to kill Claudius. This idea seems extreme. However, it is reasonable that the Prince would act irrationally as a coping strategy. In times of loss, especially after the loss of a parent, it is normal to experience overwhelming thoughts and sometimes “emotional issues” arise (“Adult Death of a Parent).
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is laden with tragedy from the start, and this adversity is reflected in the title character. Being informed of his father’s murder and the appalling circumstances surrounding the crime, Hamlet is given the emotionally taxing task of avenging his death. It is clear that having to complete this grim undertaking takes its toll on Hamlet emotionally. Beginning as a seemingly contemplative and sensitive character, we observe Hamlet grow increasingly depressed and deranged as the play wears on. Hamlet is so determined to make his father proud that he allows the job on hand to completely consume him. We realize that Hamlet has a tendency to mull and ponder excessively, which causes the notorious delays of action