Relationships in Shakespeare's Hamlet

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As you begin to read and understand the tragedy of Hamlet, you should begin to see how the many characters affect what happens as the story progresses. The further you get into the plot, however, it is quite clear that there is one strong supporting character that shapes the role of the main character of the story. When Prince Hamlet, the main character learns that his uncle Claudius was the person who had killed his father, Prince Hamlet becomes enraged by this and vouches to honor his father's death by slaying his uncle for his wrongdoing. Prince Hamlet is further enraged and disgusted by the acts of his mother, Queen Gertrude who has most hastily agreed to marry the brother of the former king of Denmark. When this occurs, we begin to see the mental constitution of Prince Hamlet unravel. As the play progresses, we further see the toll that all of this plays on the main character when he begins to doubt whether or not the apparition that he is seen is really that of his father or not and begins to think that the specter is possibly evil in some way or another.

King Claudius, on the other hand seems to be only interested in power and greed and will do anything to succeed, even if that means murder and betrayal. He further more does not understand what Prince Hamlet is thinking or what is about to take place.

As Prince Hamlet begins to try get to the bottom of this tragedy, he concocts a scheme in which he will create a play which mimics the death of his father to see how his uncle reacts.

As the mock play begins, Prince Hamlet is careful to bare witness to his uncle's actions and observes him during the production. When King Claudius becomes aware that he is being set up, he stands and runs out of the room which only gives Prince Hamlet even more suspicion that he is the culprit. At this point in the play, Prince Hamlet is given another opportunity to kill his evil uncle when he is disovered to be praying in his room. Hamlet again decides not to act on his rage because he thinks that killing someone who is in prayer is not right.

Near the end of the play, Claudius comes up with a scheme of his own in which he will devise a fencing match between Laertes, in which a poisoned sword will be used to kill Prince Hamlet for revealing that he knows of the death.
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