Was Hamlet A Hero? Essay

1226 words - 5 pages

Is Hamlet heroic? Hamlet, the main character of Shakespeare’s famous play Hamlet, is an angry man who dazzles the audience with his wicked wit and lust for vengeance. He appears to be mad throughout the whole play, leaving the audience with an uncertain feeling toward him. The answer to the question of rather or not Hamlet was crazy plays a key role in the answer to our main question, is Hamlet heroic? Only when it is known if Hamlet is mad or not can a person find or deny the heroisms in his actions.
So is Hamlet crazy? From the very beginning Hamlet is shows characteristics of being very disturbed. In act I scene two Hamlet expresses his melancholy, “Oh that this too too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into dew! Or that thy Everlasting had not fix’d His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter!” (I. ii. 129- 132). Hamlet speaks on his feelings, telling us of how he wishes to die because of his sorrow. He recently lost his father, and in less than a month his mother has remarried to his uncle. Hamlet feels lost and no one understands. Confused by the incestuous behavior of his mother and hasty marriage, Hamlet thinks there was foul play in his midst. Upon hearing of the appearance of his father’s ghost, he is certain that treachery is to be found somewhere. He states,” My father’s spirit in arms! All is not well; I doubt some foul play:” (I, iii,253-254). The next night he meets with the ghost and it tells Hamlet that he was murdered and “ The serpent that did sting thy fathers life Now wears his crown,” (I, v, 37-38), then he asked Hamlet “ Let not the royal bed of Denmark be A couch for luxery and damned incest,“ (I. v. 82- 83). Hamlet agreed at once to avenge his father and country. From this point on Hamlet loses all noticeably sane characteristics, and is driven by his promise.
Hamlet performs many acts that makes everyone around him think he is crazy. He frightens Ophelia, speaks in riddles to Polonius, and walks around the castle with no apparent purpose. His mother gets so worried that she sends for his friends to come. She hoped they could figure out what was wrong with him. Hamlet is putting on a good show to distract everyone from the real problem. Upon meeting his friends Hamlet makes them admit the true reason they have come to Denmark. He tells them, “You were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to colour:” (II. ii. 263-264). His ability to read his friends suggests that Hamlet has a very observant understanding of his surroundings. How is Hamlet insane if he has the presence of mind to read others and toy with them to get what he wants out of them? No one could torture others with word as well as Hamlet does without having a wide range of knowledge and skill. He is too precise in his every action to be truly mad. When he refrains from killing Claudius after reasoning “That would be scann’d; A villain kills my father; and for that, I his sole son,...

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