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Hamlet Character Analysis

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In the play, Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, Hamlet the main character struggles to avenge the death of his father. Fear paralyzes him as he holds off on getting revenge on the new King Claudius, who stole the royal throne by murdering Hamlet’s father. However, it isn’t just fear that makes him hesitant as he reasons the situation. Hamlet hesitates to take action because he struggles with making his own choices, just like his weak-minded mother, Gertrude.
Queen Gertrude is easily led by others, and is not characterized as a woman who can particularly think for herself. According to Alison Findlay’s Women in Shakespeare, “Descriptions by Hamlet, father and son, characterize Gertrude as lustful and therefore weak”(Findlay 152). She cannot think for herself easily and is often led by those who can help quench her sensual desires, such as King Claudius. Hamlet says to Gertrude: “In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,/ Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love/ Over the nasty sty!”(Shakespeare III.iv.102-104). When Hamlet says “nasty sty” he is referring to his Uncle Claudius, who has just taken his father’s throne by marrying Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude. Hamlet expresses his disgust with Gertrude’s decision to sleep with Hamlet’s dead father’s brother. It can be assumed that she sleeps with her deceased husband’s brother because of her sensual thirst and weakness. However, the fact that Gertrude makes her decision to marry her dead husband’s brother based on potentially, only her sexual desires, makes her seem weak. She sleeps with Claudius because she is the type of woman to take whatever comes her way, which also is a tendency of those who have weak minds.
Gertrude also doesn’t know who she should take direction fro...

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... World of His Own, Philip Goldstein says, “Hamlet is unable to rouse himself to act despite his desire to revenge his father’s murder.”(73 Goldstein). Although there could be many logical reasons for Hamlet’s behavior and thought habits, I believe that Gertrude has a heavy influence over Hamlet in his decision-making process.
And so now we can understand that Hamlet follows his mother's poor example of how to react to situations and why he does so. Children watch their parents’ or role models- and often, whether they intend to or not, inherit their habits. However, it is up to them whether they change these habits or not. Unfortunately in the case of Hamlet, he had a tragic ending and so did Gertrude. Their character flaws are quite similar, and it is the act of not acting and being able to decide wisely, which led to the downfall of the royal throne in Denmark.
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