Shakespeare has always had the gift of creating characters each with their own unique facets that, in combination, make for a play full of multi-dimensional characters. In the case of Shakespeare’s perhaps most famous play Hamlet, a more prominent role is held by the defining traits of each of the more important characters. When looked at from a more in-depth perspective one would find that many of these traits are revealed through an inference inherent to their speech. In Hamlet’s case his most eloquent dialogue shows his analytical mind, but also poses a question over Hamlet’s confidence: with circumstances of precarious matter, does he lack the confidence to be decisive, procrastinating, and knowingly so, with the important decisions required of him, or is it simply that this time is spent reasoning things to their most full extent so that his course of action proves to be the correct one. With respect to Claudius there is an extreme confidence in his cunning and deceitful craft as he often speaks with a willful hypocrisy. Also, it will be shown that Claudius has a dominantly selfish personality, manipulating people in order to use them to achieve his own ends. And, lastly, Gertrude, who possesses an enigmatic persona, is one who makes difficult the task of interpreting her motives and mindset with any real certainty.
Hamlet, a man with much intelligence, proves himself to be both logical and analytical. However, as he has sometimes revealed throughout the play, he procrastinates with what can seem to be over-analysis where the politics of the situation prove to be rather delicate, and yet when he is dealing with relatively inconsequential matters he can show as much confidence as Laertes. Through the readers’ eyes it is often Hamlet’s intelligence which assumes prominence. Hamlet’s logical mind, when looked at superficially, seems to take a primary role in the play as it is often demonstrated in a more apparent respect when compared to Hamlet’s other characteristics. Evidence of Hamlet’s analytical personality is touched on in a profound way with his second soliloquy, found in act two:
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murdered,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, […]
May be the devil, and the devil hath power
T' assume a pleasing shape. Yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me. I'll have grounds
More relative than this. The play's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king. (2.2.595-616)
With this soliloquy one finds Hamlet in rumination over his course of action. His contemplation, initiated by the players’ reenactment, full of a kind of pseudo-emotion, represents how Hamlet thinks and allows the reader to get inside his head, if only for a short time. Hamlet demonstrates in those lines that he is capable of taking a step back from his situation in order to examine matters as though he were...