Hamlet:The Struggle between Likeable and Unlikable

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Shakespeare’s Hamlet is seen as a psychological play and thus leads to many interpretations of the character Hamlet himself. With these interruptions audiences are able to make the distinction of whether they can identify with Hamlet or lack the evidence to understand his character. Though the play centers on Hamlet’s never-ending struggle to avenge his father and redeem himself as a soon, it is not a far leap to see that audience member would be pushed from the character more than drawn to. As a character, Hamlet is compared to many foils throughout the play that suggest his shortcomings and unconfirmed behavior. Audience members also lack the knowledge to fully discern Hamlet’s psychological help, as is implied within the first few acts of the play. Lastly, though Hamlet could be seen as a heroic member of society, it is clear that his character lacks a drive that is needed to be fully persuaded that Hamlet is in fact the heroic character of the play. These reasons are what push audience/readers from identifying clearly with Hamlet’s character.
Shakespeare’s use of foils is the first of many reasons that identification with Hamlet is hard to swallow. A foil character is defined as a character “that shows the qualities that are in contrast to the qualities of another character with the objective to highlight the traits of the other character” (Dictionary.com). Shakespeare utilizes many different foils throughout the play of Hamlet order to show the audience what Hamlet lacks socially or in contrast show the massive differences that lead to a more arguably physiological play. Frist come the foil of Laertes, who shows the audience members that the ideal honor that Hamlet should be displaying but is not. This stems from the simila...

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... as presented it is logically to assess that the audience while watching the play disconnects more form hamlets character than connects. This can be seen through the many foils that Shakespeare shows in the play to either highlight a shortcoming of Hamlet or point out blatantly what is expect of Hamlet as a character. The mental ambiguity throughout the play also leads audience members to question whether the implied implication that Hamlet is faking his madness is true. Lastly, through the lack of character drive audience members are left with an uncertain ideal which pulls the audience away from the character in general. All of these elements combined separate audience member’s from Hamlet leaving for a somewhat lackluster feeling as the play concludes.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. The Folger Library ed. New York: Washing Square Press, 1965. Print.

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