Hamlet’s Hamlet

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Hamlet’s Hamlet Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet highlights one character above all the others; it is Hamlet the protagonist, the hero, the good guy. This essay will be devoted to delineating his character in the play. The audience recognizes that Hamlet has a huge burden to carry for the entirety of the play, but few realize the full extent of this painful load. R.A. Foakes in “The Play’s Courtly Setting” explains: Perhaps the most terrible feature of his recognition of corruption everywhere is his recognition of it in himself too; where others deceive he must deceive too, where others act he must put on an antic disposition, where the inmost desires and passions of others must be revealed, so must his own passions be roused. And where there is no legal punishment for his father’s death, he must stoop, driven by the universal wrong, and “being thus be-netted round with villainies”, to revenge. He must share the corruption of others in spite of his nobility, and recognize in himself the common features, "we are arrant knaves all" (53). Marchette Chute in “The Story Told in Hamlet” describes the opening scene of the drama: “For two nights in succession, just as the bell strikes the hour of one, a ghost has appeared on the battlements, a figure dressed in complete armor and with a face like that of the dead king of Denmark, Hamlet’s father. [. . .] The hour comes, and the ghost walks” (35). Horatio and Marcellus exit the ramparts of Elsinore intending to enlist the aid of Hamlet. There is a social gathering of the court, where Claudius pays tribute to the memory of his deceased brother, the former king, and then conducts some items of business. Hamlet is there dressed in black, the color... ... middle of paper ... ... “The World of Hamlet.” Yale Review. vol. 41 (1952) p. 502-23. Rpt. in Shakespeare: Modern Essays in Criticism. Rev. ed. Ed. Leonard F. Dean. New York: Oxford University P., 1967. Rosenberg, Marvin. “Laertes: An Impulsive but Earnest Young Aristocrat.” Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Masks of Hamlet. Newark, NJ: Univ. of Delaware P., 1992. Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995. http://www.chemicool.com/Shakespeare/hamlet/full.html No line nos. Wright, Louis B. and Virginia A. LaMar. “Hamlet: A Man Who Thinks Before He Acts.” Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Ed. Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar. N. p.: Pocket Books, 1958.

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