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Hamlet Character Analysis

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William Shakespeare's “Hamlet” is one of the most tragic plays ever written. It is about a young prince trying to keep his word to his dead father by avenging his death. Hamlet procrastinates when avenging his father’s death, which is his tragic flaw. Hamlet appears to be a coward as well as depressed. He finds himself questioning his own ambitious motives such as revenge and hatred toward his murderous uncle. Hamlet tells Horatio, his friend that he is going to fake madness as he loses his determination. It is Hamlet’s hubris that makes me begin to believe he is mad. Hamlet does at one point have doubt concerning the honesty of the ghost. His various reasons for delay in seeking revenge is that he wants to make sure his uncle Claudius is one hundred percent guilty and at the same time does not want to hurt his mother. He has too much Oedipus complex, love for his mother.

Hamlet is having a hard time finding his courage mentally and physically. He needs more proof of his uncle’s murderous acts before revenge the death of his father. Hamlet decides to set his uncle up by using a play that is set up exactly like his father’s death. He does this to make sure he is not being persuaded by the devil. Hamlet says to himself, “The plays the thing Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (II,ii,634). By asking the player to add extra lines into the play, Hamlet is showing his ability to manipulate others as he sets up his uncle to see if he shows any signs of crime or guilt.

In response to Polonius’ question, “Do you know me?” Hamlet responds, “Excellent well you are a fishmonger” (II,ii,174). This is the first of much ridicule that Hamlet directs at the ignorant Polonius. The reason for ridicu...

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...elebrated and drank up to it. She had drank the poisoned wine though, and died. While Gertrude was dying Laertes and Hamlet were going at it again but this time Laertes had scratched Hamlet. Hamlet took offense and struck back killing Laertes. When Hamlet realized what was going on he killed Claudius and Hamlet slowly died after. Even though Hamlet killed Claudius it was not considered as avenging his father’s death, because he killed Claudius out of anger for trying to kill him, not for his father. Prince Fortinbras ended up king, which is a good idea because he is a good person, and would make a great king. This book really makes you think about these kinds of situations and how far you would go to avenge someone’s death.

Works Cited

"Hamlet" William Shakespeare (Author), Cyrus Hoy (Editor). 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992.
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