Hamlet Character Essay

1189 Words Jan 21st, 2012 5 Pages
The Troubled Prince: An Analysis of Hamlet
“To be, or not to be: That is the question”(3.1.58). This is probably the most famous quote in all of Shakespearean literature and was uttered by the main character, Hamlet, of the play “Hamlet” written by Shakespeare. It demonstrates his instability and suicidal thoughts. Throughout the play he comes off as a very unpredictable and complex character. He makes many rash decisions, but at the same time often takes a lot of time to contemplate many of his choices. Through Hamlet’s language and voice, we can examine what type of character Shakespeare created. Hamlet acts differently towards people in contrast to his actual thoughts, which are projected through his soliloquies. Due to the insanity
…show more content…
For example, in the rest of the soliloquy he uses metaphors to say perhaps he should, “take arms against” a “sea of trouble” instead of killing himself (3.1.65). Perhaps the reason for lack of imagery to describe a terrible thing such as suicide is his insanity and indecisiveness. Though he plays with the idea of suicide, he is also fearful of it and cannot fully describe it with his normal enthusiastic imagery. In the soliloquy where he envisions himself murdering Claudius, Hamlet’s insanity is the most apparent. This time he again uses simile to describe how his father was “as flush as May” in his sins when Cladius killed the King (3.3.82). He also goes on to envision the murder and how he will kill Claudius, when he is sleeping, or gambling or in the “incestuous pleasure of his bed” (3.3.91). Hamlet is obsessing over murdering Claudius, but at the same time procrastinating the murder because he wants it to be at the perfect time, such as when Claudius is most sinful. This procrastination is slowly driving him insane as shown in this soliloquy. In his soliloquies Hamlet frequently associates metaphors and similes and it is important to realize the progression of Hamlet’s instability as well as his surprising actions and complex thoughts presented through these soliloquies. The manner in which Hamlet conveys himself and his emotions to other people help show another dimension of his character —his little trust in
Open Document