Hamlet : William Shakespeare 's Hamlet

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Lucille Cousin November 10, 2014 APLA 12 - Hamlet Character Analysis William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, regarded as one his most famous plays, is based on the story of the Hamlet, the “Dark” Prince of Denmark. The protagonist, being Hamlet, is an extremely complex man with such a multi-dimensional personality that to this day, critics struggle to understand him. Each reader is left to decide his/her own interpretation of him — whether he is evil and insane, if he’s a tragic hero, or if he is a victim of circumstances beyond his control. A man of radical contradictions, Hamlet’s character remains one of the most ambiguous in American literature. One interpretation is that Hamlet’s inner turmoil is responsible for his insanity. Shattered by…show more content…
As the play unfolds, his deteriorating state-of-mind becomes increasingly noticeable. Once Hamlet has dedicated himself to avenging his father’s death, others find it difficult to understand him. For example, in response to one of Hamlet’s comments, Polonius exclaims, “How pregnant sometimes his replies are!” (II, ii, 226-227). For many, his bursts of intemperate actions such as murdering Polonius in Act 3 is what throws his sanity into question. On the other hand, it is important to consider Hamlet’s philosophical and reflective nature. How is a man as insane as he is able to contemplate difficult situations with such depth? Claiming that Hamlet is insane, therefore, is too easy a justification for his actions. In accord to G. G. Gervinius, Hamlet can also be interpreted as the hero of Denmark who grows increasingly paralyzed by the brutality and corruption that surrounds him. Hamlet, however, is no superman. He has doubts, uncertainties, and is neither perfect nor simple. To take the life of a man only requires the nerve of an assassin, but to avenge the death of a late king and father needs tact, patience, and wisdom. Hamlet knew well that his nation was already preparing to resist an attack from Norway, so with heroic self-control and selflessness, he avoided doing anything that would encourage the enemy. Moreover, Hamlet was determined to be sure of Claudius’s guilt
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