Hamlet, Shakespeare's Spectacle

Better Essays
Deceit, mystery, murder, and betrayal are all very captivating and together have the makings for a daytime soap opera. In this case, however, they are a part of the tragedy of Hamlet. The most regaling aspects of this play, despite the entertaining and compelling qualities just mentioned, are the revenge and the surprisingly unappealing nature of the main character, Hamlet. Throughout the play, Hamlet makes stupid choices that will ultimately lead to his own death, and the death of many around him. Hamlet should not be identified as a courageous hero seeking to avenge his father but instead as a coward lacking determination.
Hamlet and revenge are almost synonymous. Hamlet and determination are not. As a primary theme of the play revenge is very easy to spot throughout and with it so is Hamlet’s lack of fortitude. During various points in the play, Hamlet is presented with opportunities and chances to retaliate on behalf of his father. However, he lacks the resolve and guts to do so. Hamlet himself is discouraged by his lack of action; “But I am pigeon-liver’d, and lack gall” (Shakespeare 2.2.526). He calls himself a wimp who is not daring enough to kill Claudius and instead “must like a whore, unpack my heart with words” (2.2.535). Hamlet’s cowardice, in this part of the scene, is easily noticed. The man is calling himself out and whining instead of doing the very thing he was berating himself for not doing. Throughout much of the play, Hamlet whines about the death of his father. Stubbornly and like a girl “in obstinate condolement is a course/ of impious stubbornness. ‘Tis unmanly grief” (1.2.94), if you were to ask the new king Claudius. As a future king Hamlet should be able to stand up for himself and tell Claudius he kno...

... middle of paper ...

...ed to. He makes mistakes, has a crazy family, and cannot always figure out why things happen the way they do. As a hero and brave protagonist, Hamlet makes a spectacle of himself; nonetheless, as a play meant to relate to many, aspects of Hamlet can be found in many parts of human nature. Revenge, lies, and uncertainty, are things with which we are all familiar.

Works Cited

Eliot, T.S. “Hamlet.” William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Ed. Harold Bloom. New
York: Chelsea House, 1996. 48-49. Print.
Knowles, Ronald. “Hamlet and Counter-Humanism” 52 (1999): 1046-1069.
JSTOR. Web. 11 Apr. 2014
Sen, Taraknath. “Hamlet’s Treatment of Ophelia in the Nunnery Scene.” 35
(1940): 145-152. JSTOR. Web. 11 Apr. 2014
Shakespeare, William. “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.” Literature: A Portable
Anthology. Ed Janet E. Gardner et al. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford, 2009. 777- 898. Print.
Get Access