Characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet

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 oft...

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...ference and interpretation of each character’s manner and style of speaking. In the play Hamlet, much was learned simply by reading between each line of dialogue, and giving each line perhaps a few seconds more thought than is usual. Shakespeare filled each of his works with brilliant nuances that made necessary giving each word of each line further consideration, but what was most intriguing about this play in particular was that the reader was not only able to gain insight into the minds its characters, but also the mind of Shakespeare himself. It leaves much food for thought when one ceases to take things at face value, but instead delves into the numerous and immensely profound layers of meaning that have reinforced the words of Shakespeare for hundreds of years and for hundreds more to come.

Works Cited

Shakespear, William. Hamlet. Don Mills

HBJ, 2009
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