Hamlet Essay Research Paper Carolyn HurleyMrs CronanMasterpiecesHamlet

Hamlet Essay, Research Paper

Carolyn Hurley

Mrs. Cronan


Hamlet: Character Analysis

In the beginning of Shakespeare?s Hamlet, Hamlet, the protagonist, could not be

more well-off. Not only is he the son of the king, he is young and educated as well. One

would look at him and perceive him to be very emotionally stable. Things drastically

begin to change as soon as he learns of his father?s death. All of his great achievements as

a scholar as suddenly not as important to him after this bad news. Immediately he

becomes greatly filled with grief and his personality is changed forever. He goes from

being a man of intelligence to being a man of revenge.

All who know Hamlet are very well aware of his nobility, intelligence and

seemingly good personality. The university which he attends, is the most prestigious in

Wittenburg. His intelligence far exceeds that of any classroom or textbook though. He is

extremely talented at reading far into the relationships of humans. When Horatio, Hamlet?s

dearest friend, is visited by the ghost of Hamlet Sr., he looks to Hamlet for an explanation.

?Let us impart in what we have seen tonight unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life, this

spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him (19).? Thus, Horatio, a highly intelligent man, who is

also highly regarded in society constantly asks Hamlet for assistance. Hamlet?s good

character greatly influences those around him. Ophelia, Hamlet?s lover, constantly

comments on Hamlet?s immense intelligence. ?O? what noble mind is here…(133).?

Those who love him, as well as those who wish for his death, view Hamlet as a man of

intelligence. While plotting Hamlet?s death, Claudius comments on Hamlet?s insightful

skills. Hamlet?s intelligence is shown by his great ability to reasonably solve problems.

?To be or not to be, that is the question…(127).? Unlike most men of his day, Hamlet is

not a man of immediate action. When faced with a dilemma, he will think and look at the

issue from every point-of-view until he makes a decision. This is because he approaches

everything he is faced with from an intellectual perspective. This will leave him very

poorly prepared when the events of the play unfold all-around him.

Hamlet?s intellectual character is transformed before our eyes as bad things begin

to happen to him. The first and most awful thing to happen to him is the death of King

Hamlet. Prince Hamlet greatly idolized his father and is immediately faced with incredible

grief. ?So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother

that he might not beteem the winds of heaven to visit her face to roughly…(29).? To top

off this immense suffering, Hamlet returns home to find his mother married to his uncle

Claudius. The haste of this marriage outrages and confuses Hamlet. ?Withing a month,

ere yet the salts of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she

married. O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets (31)!?

This situation makes Hamlet?s grief far worse. He soon begins to change his outlook on

life as a result of this foul act. Also, his relationship with Ophelia begins to deteriorate.

?Ay, truly, for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a

bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness… I did love you

once(131).? Hamlet?s change of heart is a result of his mother?s incestuous marriage to

her brother-in-law. The once noble character of Hamlet is not portraying a facade of

deciet to all those around him. He feels that he cannot trust those once loved and

respected. This is a result of the lies that he is surrounded by. To top things off, Hamlet

learns that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been spying on him as by order of King

Claudius. ?What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason… an dyet to me, what is

the quintessence of dust? Man delights not me…(103).?


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