Analysis of Hamlet’s Behavior through Minor Characters Essay

Analysis of Hamlet’s Behavior through Minor Characters Essay

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When such a task as murder must be committed, the line between avenging and revenging becomes unclear. This is seen in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The deceased king’s son, Hamlet, embarks on a quest to avenge the death of his father, who was murdered by his uncle. Throughout the play, and the progression of his quest, it is apparent that Hamlet is a complicated character. As the play progresses the reader is able to see that Hamlet has an inability to take action, portrayed through his failed attempts at murdering his uncle to avenge his father and his indecisive thoughts about suicide. The task of killing his uncle eventually becomes complicated because it becomes unclear whether Hamlet wishes to murder his uncle to avenge his father, or for his own revenge. Through the process of Hamlet’s quest he seems to go mad, his emotions changing rapidly and his feelings towards others in his life completely change. Through the lens of minor characters in the play, one can better see the changes in Hamlet’s behavior. When looking at Old Hamlet, Hamlet’s deceased father, it can be said that the thought of him fuels many of Hamlet’s decisions, thoughts, and actions because of his deep love for his father. On the contrary, one can say the opposite for his mother Gertrude. She seems to fuel the anger and disgust in Hamlet because of the decisions that she has made after the death of the king. One last emotion that Hamlet eventually loses is love, or infatuation. This is shown through Hamlet’s behavior towards Ophelia, the woman he was so infatuated with, but later wanted nothing to do with, as he is at the peak of his obsession. All of these changes in Hamlet’s emotions are important throughout the text as a whole, but can be difficult to gr...


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... the death of his father. But as the play progresses so does Hamlet’s negative behavior. With such anger brewing inside of him from the death of his father, the inconsiderate actions of his mother, and the loss of love towards Ophelia, Hamlet has developed into a highly cynical character that is fueled by hateful revenge rather than motivated by the act of avenging. Hamlet’s display of emotions and behaviors portrays the effects that revenge can instill on a person. It takes away love and cheeriness and replaces it with hatred and irritation. Hamlet’s behavior also portrays the struggle one goes through when juggling the act of avenging and greed in the act of revenge. Through the analysis of minor characters in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, it is clear that the greed that accompanies revenge can drastically alter one’s behavior towards life, and individuals in it.

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