A discussion of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” focusing on the enigma of the character

August 26, 2020 by Essay Writer

 Hamlet focusing on the enigma of the character

Hamlet It is said that it is every actor’s dream to play Hamlet, and Hamlet quotes have become household words which crop up in the most diverse contexts. Both critics and psychiatrists have felt tempted to probe into the depths of this enigmatic Shakespeare character. For Hamlet is a man who has got an extraordinary problem: it is incredibly difficult for him to get a hold of himself and revenge the killing of his father by killing his murderer – even though it is expected of him to demand an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

In the first act we witness the father’s ghost haunting Hamlet and telling him that he has been murdered by his treasonable brother, who poured poison into his ear while he was sleeping peacefully in his garden. Subsequently his murderer succeeded in taking over his victim’s throne by marrying the sexy queen dowager.

Thus, there is enough to revenge: anyhow, a fratricide is a disgusting crime.

Coupled with a sexual relationship that by the ethics of the time was considered as incest. But worst of all: it is a regicide, which to an Elizabethan was outright sacrilege. Though Hamlet is fully aware that it is his task to clear things up, he keeps on procrasti nating and has got many excuses for not acting. The explanations are valid, and the only peculiar fact is that Hamlet has got so many reasons for waiting – a different one each time. Furthermore, it is characteristic in Hamlet that he only receives problems when he at last seizes the sword. He is convinced that he has nailed his villainous uncle Claudius, when he kills a person who is spying on him while he is talking seriously to his mother. However, the “rat” behind the tapestry is not the king himself, only his loyal henchman Polonius, who, in addition, is the father of two people who are close to Hamlet: his friend Laertes, and his beloved Ophelia.

King Claudius is a master of intrigues and immediately takes advantage of the circumstances. Laertes now become Hamlet’s bitter enemy and Ophelia goes insane and dies of grief at the insoluble conflict that is the result of the would-be heroic deed. The question is now if Hamlet is an anti hero, a poor killer or if his destiny proves that violence in itself is a poor solution.

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