Essay on Hamlet's Wit

Essay on Hamlet's Wit

Length: 933 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Hamlet's Wit

 
  We remember Shakespeare's characters largely because of their enormously complex personalities.  Hamlet, with his inner conflicts, indecision, wit, and passive-aggressive behavior, is one of Shakespeare's most memorable characters.  Yet so much attention has been given to Hamlet's inner conflict-whether or not he should kill his uncle-that a large piece of his personality is easy to overlook.  Hamlet's wit strikes out at the audience in several different scenes throughout the play and not only gives the reader greater insight into Hamlet's deepest feelings, but greater insight into the play itself.

 

In Hamlet's first few lines of the play he expresses his deepest feelings through his wit.  Hamlet's sarcastic conversation with Claudius and Gertrude lets the reader know that he is extremely unpleased with the relationship between his uncle and mother.  Specifically, when Claudius refers to Hamlet as his "son," Hamlet uses the word "sun" in such a way that Claudius can also interpret the word "sun" as the word "son," which would imply that Hamlet was glad to be the newly adopted son of Claudius.  Hamlet is obviously being sarcastic, because Hamlet resents Claudius for marrying his mother and referring to him as his "son"(1.2.62-67).  Hamlet has barely spoken his first few lines of the play and Shakespeare is already showing the witty side of Hamlet's personality.  This speaks for how important Hamlet's wit is to the understanding of Hamlet's character.  Shakespeare uses Hamlet's sarcastic remarks to portray Hamlet as cunning and to foreshadow how Hamlet will most likely deal with any problems that may arise later in the play.

 

             Hamlet, while conversing with other characters, reveal...


... middle of paper ...


...scover that Hamlet is not so much riddled with indecisiveness as he is playing out his well-contrived strategy for capturing his revenge.

 

Works Cited

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Lectures and Notes on Shakspere and Other English Poets. London : George Bell and Sons, 1904. p. 342-368. http://ds.dial.pipex.com/thomas_larque/ham1-col.htm

Gordon, Edward J. Introduction to Tragedy. Rochelle Park, NJ: Hayden Book Co., Inc., 1973.

---. "Psychoanalytic Criticism and Hamlet." Wofford. 241-251.

Jorgensen, Paul A. "Hamlet." William Shakespeare: the Tragedies. Boston: Twayne Publ., 1985. N. pag. http://www.freehomepages.com/hamlet/other/jorg-hamlet.html

Levin, Harry. General Introduction. The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1974.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. T. J. B. Spencer. New York: Penguin, 1996.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Hamlet By William Shakespeare 's Hamlet Essay

- “There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness”. Being mad is the state of acting chaotically which may be seen to be a result of a mental illness. The tragedy of Hamlet, is suspected to be one of Shakespeare 's most valuable works. Hamlet reveals the ultimate impact of madness on one 's mind, which can be seen in the main character, Hamlet. Hamlet himself portrays madness in his actions through deception, the seek for revenge, and insanity. To discover the reasoning behind Hamlet 's madness, each character is impacted by either exploring why Hamlet is feeling such way or gets trapped in Hamlet 's scheme of deception....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude, Polonius]

Better Essays
1191 words (3.4 pages)

William Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' Essay example

- Above all else Hamlet is enigmatic. In this mysterious and delicate character we see so many different traits and interpretation that it is extremely difficult to pin down exactly what defines him. Hamlet is existential and pensive ad nauseam while at the same time is brash and vigorously active. His words are always carefully chosen and groomed to express what he is feeling with almost surgical skill and precision. All this meshes together to become the complex and emotional character that is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark....   [tags: Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet, Gertrude]

Better Essays
1840 words (5.3 pages)

The Madness Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

- Madness is a condition that is often difficult to identify, especially when trying to analyze the behavior of a fictional character in a play that was published in 1603. In the play, Hamlet is asked to avenge his father’s death and to accomplish this task in a less apparent manner, Hamlet decides to put on an antic disposition. The madness of Hamlet is often disputed, for good reason, as his behavior is frequently baffling throughout the play. Shakespeare, the author of this tragic play, leaves the audience to decide whether Hamlet is truly mad or not....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude, Ghost]

Better Essays
1550 words (4.4 pages)

William Shakespeare 's The Tragedy Of Hamlet Essays

- Many criminal suspects today divert guilt from themselves by attributing their actions to some sort of insanity. Prince Hamlet, of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, puts on a similar fake lunacy that eventually takes over Hamlet, controls him, and leads to his downfall. Hamlet returns to his home, Denmark’s palace, one day to find King Hamlet, his father, dead. While still mourning his father’s death, his mother marries, of all people, Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. Then, Hamlet meets a ghost whose appearance is like that of the dead King Hamlet....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Better Essays
1536 words (4.4 pages)

Analysis Of Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' Essay

- The preeminence of woe has the potential to devour the vivacity of oneself. This faring of one’s internal afflictions is embedded in Shakespeare’s illustrious tragedy of Hamlet, most notably through the ceaseless complexity of the protagonist. Through his timeless mastery over the intricacy of detail, Shakespeare propels Hamlet, inconsolably stricken with the matter of demise, through interminable depression thereby initiating his fabricated, subsequently candid, lunacy ultimately contributing to his utter ignorance and culmination of life in order to reveal the calamity bestowed in the excessive contemplation of decease....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Death, Life]

Better Essays
1180 words (3.4 pages)

Essay William Shakespeare 's Hamlet - Madness

- Madness is a key theme in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Throughout the play Shakespeare displays madness in many different forms. It is also shown in a variety of characters in the play. Some of the main characters that display madness include Hamlet and Ophelia. These characters displays their madness in different ways, and in different amounts. Shakespeare shows Hamlet’s madness as a more debatable form, making audiences question if he really does end up going mad or not. This differs from Ophelia’s madness, as she actually appears to have gone insane....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Better Essays
1500 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on The Inner Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet

- The Inner Hamlet "Hamlet is the inner person of all mankind" as stated by actor Alan Bates. What did Mr. Bates mean by this. Could he be referring to the love, the corruption, the revenge, or the insanity displayed by Hamlet; or was he referring to more than we know. What did Shakespeare know about the depths of man and the battle inside to write a play that would captivate every generation to come from then on. What would we learn if we analyzed Hamlet. Shakespeare decided to set corruption in Elsinor, a royal castle in medieval Denmark....   [tags: Free Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
968 words (2.8 pages)

Free Hamlet Essays: The Naivete of Hamlet

- The Naivete of Hamlet Keeping secrets keep you isolated from your friends and make you very lonely. Hamlet’s loneliness, false friends, and betrayals cause his downfall to a great extent. The court of Denmark is filled with spies: Claudius hires Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to spy on Hamlet; Polonius spies on Hamlet in Gertrude’s bedchamber; Polonius uses Ophelia as bait to spy on Hamlet. Hamlet is not a part of this deceit; he is honest. For example, Claudius suggests Hamlet is honest when he and Laertes are discussing their dual scheme; Ophelia believes Hamlet is honest and says, "What a noble mind here is o’erthrown!" (III; i; 157), referring to Hamlet’s antic disposition, even...   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
828 words (2.4 pages)

Hamlet's Behavior in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay

- Hamlet's Behavior in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Hamlet's behavior affects that of the other characters in the play in that his action drastically alters, not only their perception of Hamlet and his intentions, but also their actions and words in dealing with Hamlet. It is difficult to classify Hamlet as either sane or insane; however, it is certain that his mad behavior, whether feigned or authentic, serves only to heighten the confusion and eventual suspicion of the court, particularly Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guilderstern, and Polonius and Claudius duo....   [tags: Hamlet William Shakespeare Plays Essays]

Better Essays
1180 words (3.4 pages)

The Importance of the Ghost in Hamlet Essay

- Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, Much fruit of Sense beneath is rarely found. (Essay on Criticism, ll.309-310) Any investigation of Shakespeare's Hamlet that wishes to harvest "fruit of sense" must begin with the ghost. Dover Wilson is right in terming Hamlet's visitor the "linchpin," but the history of critical opinion regarding its origin has been diverse and conflicting. Generally, critics have opted for a Purgatorial ghost: Bradley speaks of "...a soul come from Purgatory," (1) Lily Campbell believes "Shakespeare has pictured a ghost from Purgatory according to all the tests possible," but adds, "Shakespeare chose rather to throw out suggestions which mig...   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Better Essays
1458 words (4.2 pages)