Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

Character Analysis: Hamlet - Research Paper Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Prince of Denmark is today recognized as one of the most powerful works of English literature. Although written in the 16th century the play continues to be read and performed by contemporary audiences. The play itself follows the occurrences in the Castle of Elsinore, a location in Denmark…
Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER94.8% of users find it useful
Character Analysis: Hamlet
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Character Analysis: Hamlet"

Character Analysis: Hamlet William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Prince of Denmark is today recognized as one of the most powerful works of English literature. Although written in the 16th century the play continues to be read and performed by contemporary audiences. The play itself follows the occurrences in the Castle of Elsinore, a location in Denmark. While there are a number of primary characters, the central protagonist is undoubtedly Prince Hamlet. Shakespeare implements Hamlet as a way of exploring questions of human meaning, revenge, and love. Hamlet is a highly complex character and is one of the most analyzed characters in Western literature. This essay presents a character analysis of Hamlet. When examining Hamlet’s character there are a number of overriding concerns. Among these concerns is the perhaps the most prominent is the extent that Hamlet is truly made or is simply feigning his madness. Throughout the play Hamlet demonstrates a considerable character shift, at times seemingly pretending to be mad, while at other times truly exhibiting insanity. One considers Hamlet’s interaction with Polonius in terms of the relative level of insanity he exhibits. Hamlet speaks in seemingly irrational non-sequitors; he asks, “Are you a fishmonger?” and later states, “For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god kissing carrion,--Have you a daughter?” (Act II, scene ii). Even while this is apparent irrationality, it more accurately appears that Hamlet is implementing his intelligence and wit – two prominent characteristic elements – as a means of faking insanity and toying with Polonius. Still, in other instances Hamlet appears to be falling into a severe melancholy state demonstrating mental illness. One considers Hamlet’s seminal ‘to be or not to be’ soliloquy in this context of investigation. In terms of this soliloquy it’s been argued, “If Hamlet is portrayed as truly descending into madness, then one can take much of this soliloquy at face value. Hamlet really is depressed and thinking about killing himself as a means to end his "sea of troubles" (‘bardweb’). In these regards, Hamlet’s descent into madness is characterized by his suicidal thoughts. Adding credence to this perspective is the potential of ghost being entirely a figment of Hamlet’s insanity. Ultimately, the question of insanity is central to understanding Hamlet’s character. Another prominent consideration within Hamlet’s character is the extent that he overthinks his murder of Claudius. Early in the play, the ghost of his father informs Hamlet that he must murder Claudius so that he (Hamlet’s father) can escape purgatory. While Hamlet resolves to murder Claudius his hesitation to do so constitutes a major character element. One prominent chance Hamlet has is when Claudius is praying; still, he refrains from murdering him. It’s argued that, “...Hamlet's arguments for not killing Claudius at prayers are both subtle and logical -- too subtle, in fact, considering the enormity of Claudius' deed and the virtual certainty that Hamlet possesses of his guilt” (‘Shakespeare-Online’). In these regards, it appears that Hamlet is overly introspective and tentative. Still, in another situations it appears that Hamlet is merely attempting to gain a greater understanding of Claudius’ guilt. Hamlet has a play performed, noting, “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (Act II, scene ii). A counter-argument to Hamlet’s character as overly introspective, it’s that his is simply trying to ascertain the truth and that after he does so through this play, he sets out with newfound purpose to eliminate Claudius. It is only because of extenuating circumstances – Claudius praying, Hamlet being sent away, accidently killing Polonius instead of Claudius – that prevent him from carrying out this act until the end of the play. Ultimately, it’s clear that Hamlet is balancing competing impulses the complexity of which is not reducible to any one clear and distinct character interpretation. In conclusion, this essay has presented a character analysis of Prince Hamlet. In this context of understanding, the complexity of Hamlet’s character is analyzed in terms of the extent of his madness and the degree to which he puts off murdering Claudius. In both instances it’s revealed that Hamlet exhibits competing impulses – at times he is insane and at times he is feigning his insanity, at times he is genuinely attempting to ascertain Claudius’ guilt and at other times he is overthinking. Ultimately, this complexity reveals that Hamlet’s character and motivation is derived from the competing psychological impulses he is experiencing. References "Analysis of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." Shakespeare-Online. N.p., 2010. Web. 14 Dec 2011. . Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet: Entire Play." shakespeare. N.p., 2010. Web. 13 Dec 2011. . "Speech Analysis: Hamlet." bardweb. N.p., 2011. Web. 14 Dec 2011. . Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Character Analysis: Hamlet Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Character Analysis: Hamlet Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words)
“Character Analysis: Hamlet Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Character Analysis: Hamlet

Property Investment Analysis

The Red Book valuation figures offer useful guidance on valuation, however they contain overlapping material from diverse sources. The Mallinson Report has identified the need for the RICS to publish a single, comprehensive and user friendly source of standards for valuers and establish a single point of coordination in the institution’s delivery of valuation services. The Report also states that the information provided needs to be more specific so that it place more specific further education demands on valuers. Additionally, there must be additional power provided to the Institution to investigate problem cases and take disciplinary action when it becomes necessary, despite the possibility of courts exerting a restricting...
13 Pages(3250 words)Assignment

Analysis of Offences Against the Person Act

She suffered sleeplessness and panic attacks after this and was diagnosed with reactive depression. She told her brother, Ian, who saw Boris in the local pub and threw his beer glass into Boris’s face. The glass broke and Boris lost the sight in one eye as a result. Explain what non-fatal offences may have been committed here. It is also necessary to consider the Sexual Offences Act 2003 as the act of the hypnotist could be regarded as a sexual1.

The most minor assault is common assault as described by s39 Criminal Justice Act 1988. Under s39 an assault is committed if a person assaults another or commits a battery. An assault has been defined as when a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to app...
6 Pages(1500 words)Case Study

Internal and External Environmental Analysis for the Bakery Business

Liberalization of foreign investment and technology policy of the government is supportive of establishing industrial units in the country.

Threat: The UK food regulatory authority is planning to enforce the EC Regulations relating to food labeling. The labeling requirements under the new regulations will affect the food industry as the suppliers will be legally obliged to disclose the GM content of foods to the caterers. Thus business firms in the bakery industry also will be effected through the exclusion of flexible manner of labeling arrangements in the case of flour confectionery involving GM Soya or maize. (Genetically modified and novel foods (labeling) (England) regulations, 2000).

Trend: The new subs...
6 Pages(1500 words)Case Study

The Necessity of Job Analysis

... Lecturer: presented: Job Design Job design is an arrangement of procedures and organization of work which indicates the techniques and the interactions which are put in place in order to suit the technical and managerial requirements while on the other hand to satisfy the individual needs of the employees. It highlights the occupation structure, the duties of the workers as well as guidelines regarding the information which the worker is supposed to access. The importance of job analysis in human resources is to help the management to ascertain and endorse the usefulness of certain activities which take place in employment such as employment procedures such as training, choice of the appropriate employees, reparation as well...
7 Pages(1750 words)Coursework

Analysis of OReilly v Mackman Case

Judicial review is a concept which is constitutionally undecided as it on one side, it shores up the rule of law, democracy, and pre-eminence of parliament by facilitating the courts to check the boundaries of government authority and on another side, the courts are open to the decision on the plants based on the fact of separation of authorities that are intimating with the verdicts of democratically elected institutions. Judicial review is not apprehended with the virtues of government assessment but deals with whether the deciding authority has remained within the legal boundaries and whether broad principles of rationality and fairness adhere. The constitutional basis of judicial review is debated as one view holds that it is...
8 Pages(2000 words)Case Study

Comparative Family Analysis

The second component of this essay will be a comparative analysis with the American family to the Arab family, generally speaking, but also clearly described by Homa Hoodfar, in her book Between Marriage and the Market. This essay will discuss the impact of globalization on different types of families in different societies and cultures. The terms ‘traditional’, ‘modern’ and ‘postmodern’ will be defined, elaborated upon and discussed on a continuum of change. Social change, in the face of globalization, will be discussed in relation to how cultures and families have grown or resisted the forces of globalization. We now turn to an exploration of the types of families in the world and follow...
6 Pages(1500 words)Coursework

Analysis of Tourism and Hospitality Law Case

 The main issue that needs to be tackled first is whether there is a valid contract between Richard Brat, carrying on trade as Brighton Greens, (buyer) and Molly and Kelly trading in First Grade Granny Smith apples as Holy Farm.

Apparently, there was, when considering their verbal and written mail sent by Richard to Holy Farm on August 1 reading as follows –“Please deliver 20 boxes –Granny Smith ‘Brighton Greens’. Cheque mailed.“

It may be seen that the mail order does not specify the category or grade of apples to be supplied, but one of the implied conditions of sale could be that the goods ordered need to correspond with the goods inspected and tested.

In th...
8 Pages(2000 words)Case Study

Economic Analysis of India

The country’s economy is fast growing with a stable political system that encourages foreign investment although with certain restrictions. The country generally has good energy, transport and communication systems which make the cost of doing business affordably.

The Republic of India found South of Asia is by far the world’s most populous democracy and ranks seventh largest in terms of geographical area (Brown, 1994). India is also the second most highly populated country in the world. The country has a rich culture with four major religions having originally emerged from it; Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. The Indian Republic consists of seven union territories and 28 states and ranks twelfth la...
8 Pages(2000 words)Case Study

Analysis of Educational Website

... Analysis of Educational Website Introduction Since antiquity, education remained a major component of human societies; however, until few decades ago, it existed in the society in its traditional and conventional form that involved one-to-one interaction of teachers with their students in classrooms. Since few years, educators and scholars have witnessed rapid advancements in the field of information and technology that has altered almost every sector of the society in a rapid manner, and so the education sector as well. In such advancements, internet has now become one of the most popular platforms for students, teachers, businesspersons, and individuals from every sector to acquire education and information within few clicks and minutes...
7 Pages(1750 words)Article

Analysis of Articles about Climate Change

...Climate change Can we imagine an Earth where there are no green mountains, no deep blue seas and no living creatures? No. But a disaster of such magnitude and dimension is looming over Earth. Humans have identified this threat, defined it and given it a name, global warming. This dangerous proposition is based on the truth that even a 5 % increase in the surface temperature on Earth can wipe out life from this beautiful planet. And the temperature is increasing as never before. It was in 1990s that the world began to hear serious warnings on global warming and climate change. The summary for policy makers prepared as part of the first assessment report by Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change was the first ever in depth... change Can we ...
6 Pages(1500 words)Literature review
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Research Paper on topic Character Analysis: Hamlet for FREE!

Contact Us