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Discussion Of Changes In Hamlet In Shakespeare's Play

679 words - 3 pages

Does Hamlet change throughout the play? If he does, where are some key points where Hamlet does change. If he hasn't, which Hamlet is the real Hamlet?
This question explores the progression of the main character, Hamlet. It is quite important to establish whether Hamlet learns anything or changes throughout the play. This prompt is made for the reader to understand whether or not Hamlet is a static character. The reader may also establish an opinion on whether Hamlet is truly insane or acting. Being a static character, Hamlet must be acting the entire time and fooling everyone in the castle. However if Hamlet does change as the play progresses then his insanity would change and worsen with him. This is the answer many people would lean towards however there is no absolute answer. The last 2 questions are to help the readers provide evidence. For the first, the trip to England is a major ...view middle of the document...

Hamlet sees the ghost again, however this further proves that he has lost his mind as his mother cannot see the ghost. Queen Gertrude, his own mother no longer believes him and says, "Alas, he's mad" (3.4.121). Another example is when Hamlet avoids getting revenge on King Claudius, and delays until he becomes a man. He has a perfect chance yet he waits until "[Claudius] is drunk asleep, or in his rage, or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed," obvious signs of cowardice (3.3.94-95). When Hamlet comes back from England it is clear he is a different person. He is no longer afraid and finally murders Claudius. Another key turning point is when Hamlet finds out Ophelia is dead. Here he fights Laertes for her love. Hamlet changes from a dramatic play writer to the catalyst of slaughter.
The other answer is no, Hamlet remains static during the entire play and his madness is merely an act. The ghost was seen by Horatio as well as others, so it could not just be Hamlet's mind tricking him. The second time might just be because King Hamlet wants to hide himself from his wife, keeping her safe from his wrath and her own guilt. Hamlet also shows that he knows he is in a play. Hamlet says "for look how happy my mother looks, and my father died within 's two hours," signifying he knows how much time has passed in the play (3.2.133-135). Another example is at the end where Hamlet argues that he must fight Laertes and "defy augury," since it's the end of the play and things must end (5.2.233). He did not become a man when he went to England, it's the knowledge that the play is ending that forces Hamlet to take action and finally get revenge. Hamlet is himself during his Yorick soliloquy. The entire play Hamlet has been through a state of depression, and his brightest moment is when he speaks greatly of Yorick. It shows Hamlet is a respectable man who cared for others. Here, at the end of the play Hamlet is shown being his original self, and reminiscing of childhood memories. Hamlet didn't change through the play, he was simply in a long state of depression. Everyone has bad days but that does not mean they are suddenly new people because of it.

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