Hamlet Character Analysis Essay

1014 Words Mar 12th, 2011 5 Pages
Nicole Ventzke
Crystal Jensen
1102 T/H
Hamlet Character Analysis: Hamlet
One aspect that makes William Shakespeare’s Hamlet alluring is how he broke the limiting mold of the one-dimensional character by representing characters in all of their human complexity. Hamlet, for example, is a compelling character because he is complicated. As Hamlet himself observes early in the play in, “Tis not alone my inky cloak/nor customary suits of solemn black, /Nor…forced breath/No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, /Nor the dejected ‘havior of the visage…/with all forms, moods, and shapes of grief, /That can denote me truly” (1.2.80-86). Hamlet insists that he is an individual with many psychological and philosophical facets, though he
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Polonius goes on to observe that Hamlet’s speech is confusing because he speaks a language that sane people cannot understand. Hamlet is obscure 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. In addition, it is worth noting that it is not only Hamlet’s curious speech that alienates others. Hamlet’s obsessive pessimism also begins to affect all of his relationships and becomes a large part of who he is as a character. In an otherwise superficial conversation with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet insists that the world has become a prison with “Denmark being one o’ th’ worst” (2.2.265), and he presses the men to explain why they would want to visit him in the place that torments him. Hamlet’s relationship with his mother is also troubling. While he is justified in questioning her decision to marry Claudius before her husband’s corpse has even cooled, Hamlet is sarcastic and demeaning towards her, provoking her to ask “What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue/In noise so rude against me?” (3.4.47-48) These brief and often sarcastic interactions with other characters help define Hamlet as a pessimistic character and cause the reader to anticipate that his perceptions of events will be, almost always, clouded with this characteristic darkness of
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