This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Character Of Hamlet Essay

3205 words - 13 pages

Character of Hamlet

"Wer gar zu viel bedenkt wird wenig leisten"

-Schiller

" He who reflects too much will accomplish little"

It is impossible to attain completeness in the assessment of any one's
character and more so in the case of Hamlet's, for its note are
complex and mysterious. But on rigorous study, Hamlet's character can
be described though partly but adequately by the above quote.

'Hamlet' is the most famous, the most popular play in the English
language. But to quote T.S.Eliot -"So far from being Shakespeare's
masterpiece, the play is most certainly an artistic failure…. And
probably more people have thought Hamlet a work of art because they
found it interesting, than have found it interesting because it is a
work of art. It is the "Mona Lisa " of literature."

"The grounds of Hamlet's failure are not immediately
obvious."T.S.Eliot in his essay "Hamlet and His Problems", says this
and after his analysis he concludes that in order to understand Hamlet
- the play and the character - we need to understand things, which
Shakespeare did not understand himself. A similar view is aired by
A.C.Bradley who says that the character of Hamlet as one can
understand from the play cannot answer several questions which pertain
to the logic and rationality of Hamlet's deeds like his idea to
pretend madness and in order to get a reasonable answer one must try
history where we find the story of Amleth,the Prince of Denmark which
inspired Shakespeare to write this "Mona Lisa " of literature.

The story of Amleth is a story, which involved just the revenge of a
son avenging his father's murder. In this story, Amleth 's uncle is
the usurper and he kills Amleth's father and also wishes to kill
Amleth to establish his unquestioned authority. Here Amleth directly
knew that his uncle was guilty quite in contrast to Hamlet's case and
Amleth's life was in great danger also in contrast to Hamlet's as his
uncle Claudius was fond of his nephew. He takes good care of him and
calls him his "son" as well.

There is no great apparent danger to Hamlet's life from Claudius until
he is aware that Hamlet knows of his devilish act of murdering the
King Hamlet. In the case of Amleth he had every reason to act as if he
were mad because that was necessary to him to accomplish his "duty" of
avenging his father's murder. It is hard to understand why Hamlet
pretends madness when he could have done what he had to with great
ease and no one would have objected to Claudius' dethronement as
Claudius was not popular with his people, which is quite evident from
the fact that Laertes could raise a public revolt against the king so
boldly. In Amleth's case it was completely different, his uncle had
complete support in the coup. And A.C.Bradley further observes that
Shakespeare was not properly able to...

Find Another Essay On Character of Hamlet

Shakespeare's Hamlet - The Character of Gertrude

1499 words - 6 pages Hamlet – the Character of Gertrude       Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, presents ten male characters for every one female character. The only prominent female characters are two: Ophelia, Laertes’ sister and Polonius’ daughter; and Gertrude, the queen and wife of Claudius and mother of Hamlet. This essay will explore the character, role, and importance of Gertrude.   Prince Hamlet initially appears in the play dressed in solemn

The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare's Hamlet

2161 words - 9 pages The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare's Hamlet The Gertrude in Shakespeare’s tragic drama Hamlet is controversial in the sense that some critics uphold her morality and some deny it. Let’s consider this question and others related to this character. Gertrude has many good qualities in the play; she is not evil through and through. Rebecca Smith in “Scheming Adulteress or Loving Mother” presents an image of the queen in

Custom Term Papers: The Character of Hamlet

3432 words - 14 pages The Character of Hamlet       Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar in “Hamlet: A Man Who Thinks Before He Acts” explain the popularity of the protagonist of Shakespeare’s Hamlet:   Much of the delight of modern readers, of course, comes from the study of the characters of the principal figures in the play, for Shakespeare has presented them in three-dimensional vividness. We feel that they are living beings with problems that are

The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

1612 words - 6 pages   The character of Gertrude in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, is not a woman for emulation by others. She is too human, and not very intelligent. Let’s consider her in this essay.   Mary Bradford-Whiting, in her article “Mothers in Shakespeare” compares the mother of Juliet to the mother of Hamlet:   Juliet has a mother, to whose heart of stone she appeals in vain:   . . . O, sweet my mother, cast me not away! [Romeo

The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

1512 words - 6 pages    Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, presents ten male characters for every one female character. The only prominent female characters are two: Ophelia, Laertes’ sister and Polonius’ daughter; and Gertrude, the queen and wife of Claudius and mother of Hamlet. This essay will explore the character, role, and importance of Gertrude.   Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, is apparently disturbed by her son’s appearance in solemn black at the

The Character of Claudius in Shakespeare's Hamlet

2283 words - 9 pages The Character of Claudius in Hamlet        Shakespeare presents Claudius as a character with many faces yet the audience can clearly understand his motives and ambition throughout the play. His character does however change and we clearly see how his evilness and weakness increases as his need to escape discovery and his clandestine nature in doing so, is revealed.       It is in Act one scene two that we are first introduced

The Character of Laertes in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1291 words - 5 pages The Character of Laertes in Hamlet Though seeming to simply be a minor character, Laertes is of great importance in the play, Hamlet, and much more than one would initially believe, due to his extensive inner conflict. He is good, loyal, and honorable, seeming to possess the greatest virtue of all the characters, yet he still is doomed to die along with the other characters, precisely because of his great virtue.     As Scene Two

Analysis of Ophelia's Character in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1196 words - 5 pages In the English play Hamlet, Shakespeare incorporates deep analytical thought in his writing by the use of character, symbolism, and motifs. Specifically, readers can find these characteristics through analytical reading of the character Ophelia. While initially reading the story, Ophelia represents a character that is typical of the women in the 1600s, one who is too submissive and directed by the people around her. First impressions of

The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare's Hamlet

537 words - 2 pages The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare's Hamlet         It is tempting to condemn Gertrude as evil, but it is probably more sensible to consider her as weak and inconstant. Hamlet's heartfelt line "Frailty, thy name is woman" sums up his view of her actions early in the play. Like many of Shakespeare's women characters, she is "sketched in" rather than drawn in detail. We know that she has a deep affection for her son, which is

Inconsistency in The Character of Hamlet

1098 words - 4 pages Inconsistency in The Character of Hamlet The perfection of Hamlet’s character has been called in question - perhaps by those who do not understand it. The character of Hamlet stands by itself. It is not a character marked by strength of will or even of passion, but by refinement of thought and sentiment. Hamlet is as little of the hero as a man can be.  He is a young and princely novice, full of high enthusiasm and quick sensibility - the

The Analysis of the Character Ophelia on Hamlet

1655 words - 7 pages In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia is the most static character in the play. Instead of changing through the course of the play, she remains suffering in the misfortunes perpetrated upon her. She falls into insanity and dies a tragic death. Ophelia has issues surviving without a male influence, and her downfall is when all the men in her life abandon her. Hamlet’s Ophelia, is a tragic, insane character that cannot exist on her own. In

Similar Essays

Character Analysis Of Hamlet

1284 words - 6 pages Hamlet is the main character and protagonist in the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare. Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark. He is the son of Queen Gertrude and King Hamlet, who was murdered by his uncle Claudius. Hamlet is a very unique individual and handles many situations in unusual ways. Hamlet is an extremely intriguing and complex character that appears to change with every different perspective. Shakespeare has done an absolutely

Character Analysis Of Shakespeare's Hamlet (Hamlet, Claudius, And Ophelia)

1561 words - 6 pages Within the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, there are many famous quotes, like the famous, "To be, or not to be: (III, i, 56*)" soliloquy by Hamlet, and also many famous characters that lots of people today recognize without knowing the whole story. The play revolves around the main character, Hamlet, who is trying to get revenge on his uncle who killed his father to become king. Hamlet and his friend, Horatio, are the only ones who know

The Character Of Ophelia In Shakespeare's Hamlet

1197 words - 5 pages The Character of Ophelia in Hamlet      In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, the character Ophelia plays an important role in the elaboration of the plot.  In the beginning, she is in a healthy state of mind, in love with Hamlet, yet controlled by her father.  During the play she has several troubling experiences involving Hamlet - causing her to become distressed.  The death of Ophelia's father leaves her mentally unstable and in a state of

The Internal State Of The Character Hamlet

1899 words - 8 pages The Internal State of Hamlet    Abstract: This essay uses psychoanalytic, new historicism, and deconstructive methods of criticism to expore the scene in which Hamlet stands before Claudius and Gertrude after he has killed Polonius. The oblective is to provide a better understanding of how Shakespeare uses the events in the play as a means of shaping or changing Hamlet's actions or emotions Hamlet is a character with emotions that are