The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare

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The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by Shakespeare

Character development is essential to any literary endeavor. The character of Hamlet is quite dynamic—morphing from a composed but emotionally driven young man to an unstable wreck, completely possessed by the same emotions that drove him to such lengths at the outset.

The main protagonist, Hamlet, undergoes a sequence of incidents that radically alter his character. When the audience is introduced Hamlet, he is clothed in all black—portrayed as a morose, dejected prince. The audience’s initial impression of Hamlet sets the attitude for the entire play. Even without Shakespeare delivering an intricate sketch of Hamlet's features, readers can visualize his pallid face, disheveled hair, and severe, ominous eyes. Clothed completely in black, Hamlet exhibits all the forms, moods and shapes of distress. Throughout the progression of the play however, it is exposed that Hamlet as a character has more than one side to him: he is as menacing as he is imprudent, and he is as unforgiving as he is inconclusive. The audience relates Hamlet’s internal troubles with the demise of his father, and the emotional tax of discovering the truth of his death but being incapable of extorting revenge. This is what principally transforms Hamlet. His struggle to suppress his anger towards King Claudius, his father’s murderer, is then transmitted onto Ophelia, which causes Hamlet to become a remarkably different character by the end of Act V. Revenge has a way of seizing a character’s integrity. Michael Price of the American Psychological Association wrote, “If you're a power seeker, revenge can serve to remind others you're not to be trifled with. If you live in a society where the rule of law i...

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...ring Claudius. Hamlet has grasped the summit of his moralizing; he has prepared himself for death. Hamlet transforms from being passionately driven to being entirely controlled by his emotions. At first he is resolute to honor his father's integrity, and then he starts taking vengeance on his uncle and mother. He ultimately runs mad, inciting him to his own demise.

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Works Cited

"Analysis." William Shakespeare Biography. Auburn University, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.

Price, Michael. "Revenge and The People Who Seek It." American Psychological Association. 2009. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.

Shakespeare, William. “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar v. Roberts and Robert Zweig. 5th compact ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2012. 1096. Print. 21 April. 2014.
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