Analysis of the Character Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark

Analysis of the Character Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark

Length: 479 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Analysis of the Character Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark

First performed in 1603, Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark is probably the best

known of William Shakespeare's works, and may well be the most famous English

language play ever written. The character, Hamlet, is one of the most compelling

characters to ever emerge from the pages of English literature. Hamlet has been the

center of admiring critical commentaries. It has also developed a reputation as a difficult

work to analyze. Hamlet features a very complicated character, with many complex

themes, and presents the reader with a multi-layered text, which defies easy reading.

He has been subjected to numerous interpretations and studies over the centuries,

his actions and thoughts analyzed again and again. Probably more than anything else is

the reason for Hamlet's charismatic appeal. In the first scene Hamlets father, the king,

dies mysteriously just two months prior. Claudius, has taken the throne and has married

the dead king's wife, Queen Gertrude. The members of the watch, including Prince

Hamlet's loyal friend Horatio, are alarmed over the recent appearance of a ghost who

resembles Hamlet's late father, and they plan to tell Hamlet about this eerie visitations.

The Ghost of Hamlet's father speaks to his son directly and urges him to follow

him to a one-on-one encounter. There he explains in detail of his horrid death and tells

Hamlet that this heinous crime must be avenged and that it is up to his son to justify this

by killing Claudius.

“I am thy father's spirit;
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confin'd to wastein fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purg'd away.” Hamlet (Act I, Sc. V)

Hamlet has trouble depicting truth from fantasy in this scene, whether or not to believe

the ghost who assumes the form of his deceased father. The death of his father leads

Hamlet down the road to insanity. With his mother marrying his uncle only a month after

King Hamlets death, makes the road a one way street.

To confirm the truth Hamlet puts on a play, inspired by his father’s unfortunate, to

get an reaction from his Uncle. After witnessing his Uncle’s expression towards the play

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Analysis of the Character Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark." 14 Aug 2018

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on Character Analysis of Hamlet

- ... How hamlet responded had a lot to do with the actions done by others and himself. A person’s environment greatly affects how they handle oneself and situations around them. Due to Hamlet’s extremely ludicrous environment and unusual circumstances, he is just that much more of a complicated and elaborate character (Bristol). Another major thing that contributed to Hamlet’s complexity was his utter hatred towards Claudius. From the get go Hamlet never liked him. He felt Claudius was immoral and almost worthless....   [tags: William Shakespeare, literary analysis, character]

Research Papers
962 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Sanity, Insanity, Madness? - William Shakespeare's Hamlet is Sane

- Sanity, Insanity, Madness. - William Shakespeare's Hamlet is Sane In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, the lead character, Prince Hamlet of Denmark, has been interpreted in numerous ways. Throughout the play Hamlet takes on different personas, making it hard define him as only one character type. Often when critics analyze the character of Hamlet, they question his sanity because of his ambiguity soon after he sees his father's ghost. What does it mean to be insane. The definition of the word "insane" says that the person must "exhibit serious and debilitating mental disorders." does Hamlet truly go insane, is his father's ghost just a figment of his tormented imagination, or is Hamlet a smart...   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Research Papers
2145 words (6.1 pages)

Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essays

- The play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, builds up a story beginning with the murder of Hamlet`s father, as it leads to the downfall of not only Claudius, Old King Hamlet`s brother, but also Hamlet`s death, as the story slowly unravels with the death of many other characters, and the events that shape the story into its final moments. The suggestion of suicide is the perception of escapism as one character after another considers taking their lives to escape the frustrations and pains that are associated with existing in a life where constant problems arise in reality....   [tags: Hamlet analysis, William Shakespeare]

Research Papers
1346 words (3.8 pages)

The Reluctance of Hamlet toward Killing Essay

- The Reluctance of Hamlet toward Killing in William Shakespeare's Hamlet The reluctant character Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, has become one of the most cited characters in history. Throughout Shakespeare's play Hamlet knows what he must do, but avoids it in his mind. The problem is: why does hamlet delay in avenging his father's death. Hamlet is afraid. He is afraid of failure. Hamlet tries to play off his fear by blaming outside circumstances, like doubting the existence of the ghost when he knows in his heart it is true, and not having the right opportunity to exact revenge....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Papers]

Research Papers
1198 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Analysis of Hamlet by William Shakespeare

- Analysis of Hamlet by William Shakespeare The play begins on the outer ramparts of Elsinore castle. It is late and Francisco, a guard, is on duty waiting for Bernardo to relieve him from his watch. Francisco is nervous because the previous two nights he and Bernardo have seen a figure who appears to be the ghost of the recently deceased king wandering around. Bernardo approaches, accompanied by Horatio (Hamlet's only friend and confident). Even though Horatio dismisses the idea of a ghost, the guards start to retell the previous nights' encounters....   [tags: William Shakespeare Plays Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
5818 words (16.6 pages)

Analysis of the Soliloquy "To be, or not to be" in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

- In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act III, Scene I, the title character, Hamlet, performs his most famous soliloquy, started “To be, or not to be….” This speech comes in the midpoint of the main action of the play. In the conclusion of Act II, Hamlet purveyed a more rational attitude and outlook, and this soliloquy contradicts such a persona. He seems to have reverted to his dark, contemplative state. The opening, and most famous line of this soliloquy, “To be, or not to be…,” suggests death or possible suicide; however, the subsequent lines pose the two courses of action which he, or one, may take in life....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Hamlet]

Free Essays
273 words (0.8 pages)

Universal Acceptance of Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay

- Universal Acceptance of Hamlet by William Shakespeare The tragedy and situation in the play ‘Hamlet’ has been commented on as ‘universal.’ Audiences of many different cultures can enjoy ‘Hamlet’ even though it is set in an alien culture to them. The reasons for this are that many people can relate to the play, they feel that they are living though a profound experience, even if nothing in the plot of Hamlet has ever happened to them. The experience of ‘Hamlet’ is not restricted to the plot and its characters....   [tags: Hamlet William Shakespeare Essays]

Research Papers
2005 words (5.7 pages)

Claudius as Evil in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay

- Claudius as Evil in Hamlet by William Shakespeare The abstract concept of evil has vastly transformed throughout human history, ranging for the supernatural and mystical to the very humans amongst whom we live. In modern times, evil has become an entirely ambiguous term. Who is evil. What is evil. Men like Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein have been garnered with the term ‘evil’ for their atrocities against fellow humans. Now it seems evil has a solely human significance; when a person violates the individual rights of others on a massive scale, he/she is evil....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Research Papers
992 words (2.8 pages)

The Character of Hamlet Essay

- The Character of Hamlet        This essay will delve into the character of the hero of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet as it develops through the drama, and will analyze the more important features.   Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar in “Hamlet: A Man Who Thinks Before He Acts” explain the popularity of the protagonist:   Much of the delight of modern readers, of course, comes from the study of the characters of the principal figures in the play, for Shakespeare has presented them in three-dimensional vividness....   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]

Research Papers
1845 words (5.3 pages)

William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay example

- William Shakespeare's Hamlet There are enough conceptions, and thus misconceptions, about the melancholy Dane to fill volumes. However, while none of them has proved entirely acceptable, some of them, such as the diagnoses that Hamlet simply “procrastinates” or “cannot make up his mind” prove utterly unsatisfactory under careful scrutiny of the play and, perhaps more importantly, Hamlet himself. Indeed, it appears as if there are certain points in the play in which Hamlet comes to reversals as he eventually counters each one of his own arguments and concludes each of his struggles, until, in his return from England, he is someone quite different from the self-loathing, melancholy, emotiona...   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Research Papers
2390 words (6.8 pages)

Related Searches

he knows the ghost was speaking the truth all along. Understanding the dialog was indeed

troublesome, but with some time and patience Shakespeare is readable. Many of the

characters, such as Ophelia, are odd to get a handle of. What made Ophelia kill herself is

beyond my comprehension.

As a reader, you can come to any number of reasonable conclusions about

Hamlet, but coming to a firm stop about this complex character is a difficult task. What I

have taken out of this story, is, What you do now will come back to haunt you in another

Return to