Hamlet: A Man Of Many Qualities Essay, Research Paper
Hamlet: A Man of Many Qualities
Hamlet is a man of many different qualities and he reveals only certain
qualities to certain people. Hamlet draws his audience, the reader, into
noticing the different qualities that he has. His qualities are shown through
his conversations with other characters as well as through his soliloquies.
These words of wisdom and revealance help to distinguish how Hamlet feels about
each other character that he encounters. The phrases and speeches that Hamlet
addresses are both poetic and piercing. So when Hamlet is speaking, he is
constantly revealing his qualities which range from love, to respect, to hate.
Hamlet’s most powerful qualities seem to be revealed through his conversation
with the people that he cares about, namely his family and friends.
The queen, Gertrude, is hamlet’s mother and she is probably the living being
that he cares about the most. Unfortunately, one of Hamlet’s qualities, which
is revealed in conversation with his mother, is a negative one and that is anger.
His quality is displayed through Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 1, Scene 2, Lines
131? 161. Hamlet is angry at his mother for marrying a new husband, his uncle,
Claudius, so quickly after his father’s death. This anger shines through in
such phrases such as “Frailty, thy name is woman!”(Act 1,Sc 2, L148) and “Like
Niobe, all tears.”(Act 1, Sc 2, L151). At the end of his soliloquy, Hamlet
switches qualities from one of anger to one of fear. This is evident when
Hamlet states, “With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!”, and “It is not, nor
it cannot come to good”, and finally “But break my heart, for I must hold my
tongue”(Act 1, Sc 2 L157? 161). Hamlet expresses his fear for his mother’s
hasty marriage. Hamlet realizes that his mother marrying his uncle can have no
good result. Respect is another quality that Hamlet displays in conversation
with his mother. This occurs when his mother asks him to remain at home rather
than return to school(Act 1, Sc 2, L120?121), which he agrees to do. This shows
that although he disagrees with his mother and her marriage, after such little
mourning for her husband, Hamlet Sr.’s, death, he still respects his mother and
will do what she asks.
Later in the act, Hamlet encounters another character who goes by the name of
Horatio. Horatio is a good friend, as stated in Act 1, Sc 2, L163, and the
first quality which Hamlet reveals is his respect for Horatio. In line 176 of
Act 1, Sc 2, Hamlet states “I know you are no truant.” This shows that Hamlet
knows that Horatio is Well educated and takes note of that and gives him respect.
This is respect for Horatio’s intelligence and decision? making. Hamlet reveals
trust as a quality within his character towards Horatio. This occurs in two
places; the first is when he believes Horatio when Horatio says that he has seen
Hamlet’s father in the form of a ghost(Act 1, Sc 2, L193? 226). If horatio were
not a good friend, Hamlet might be angered because he might think that Horatio
was mocking him in his mourning. Since Horatio is a good friend, Hamlet seeks
all the information about his ghost story. In faith of Horatio’s honesty. The
second occurrence of trust takes place at the end of Act 1, Sc 5, L129? 201).
After speaking with his father’s ghost, Hamlet meets up with Horatio again and
asks for him to swear to secrecy, as well as to be aware of his plan of revenge.
This shows This shows that Hamlet has trust in Horatio, that he need not worry
about the news of his father’s ghostly visit in Denmark. A third, less
significant quality that Hamlet reveals when speaking with Horatio is sarcasm,
which occurs in Act 1, Sc 2, L180?182, when he questions Horatio’s real reason
for visiting his home. When Horatio says that he has come for the funeral of
Hamlet Sr., Hamlet figures that he might really have come to see the wedding of
his mother and his uncle. So Hamlet slashes out a sarcastic comment, only to be
denied by his good and understanding friend, Horatio. Possibly, this quickly
put together marriage, so soon after the death of his father, has established a
bad seed of sarcasm which could be a quality to which Hamlet cannot be blamed
for at this time.
Loyalty, love and respect are the three main qualities which Hamlet reveals, so
far, of his father’s ghost. Respect is shown when Hamlet decides to follow his
father’s ghost even with the pressure of his friends not to follow(Act 1, Sc 2,
L64?88). Even though his father is dead, Hamlet still respects him… Dead or
Alive. If his father’s ghost has come back to talk to him, Hamlet is going to
respect his wishes. Love, which occurs throughout Act 1, Sc 5, is simply the
willingness of Hamlet to listen to what his father’s ghost has to say. Rather
than letting the words that the ghost of his father spoke, go in one ear and out
the other, Hamlet listened carefully and will do anything for him, such as the
revenge hamlet seeked throughout the play. This shows love towards his father
because he’ll do anything to honour his father. Third, Hamlet reveals probably
the best quality of the whole play as for which is loyalty. This loyalty is
towards, of course, his deceased father, and it occurs in the vow to seek
revenge on his uncle, the murderer of his beloved father(Act 1, Sc 5, L32?34&
113?115). Hamlet’s father wants revenge on his brother and since he cannot do
it himself he has asked his son, Hamlet, to do it for him. Hamlet agreed to
this request and in doing so, he has showed his loyalty to his hero…. His
Father. Hamlet’s qualities of love and loyalty have shown that the barriers
between the living and the dead and indeed be broken with a little spiritual
It is said that actions speak louder than words but in Hamlet’s case, words
speak louder than actions, for it is the words of hamlet that reflect the
qualities bestowed on him. In conclusion, it has been shown that Hamlet has
displayed different qualities with different characters. I feel there seems to
be one common quality which was revealed with each character encounterment?
Respect. Hamlet seems to respect his family and friends through the thick and
thin of things because he knows them for who they are and he knows that mistakes
can be made. Most importantly, Hamlet feels it necessary to respect the people
he is close to in following the choice question of “To Be or Not To Be..” (?
?, William Shakespear). Without character qualities to boost Hamlet’s
character, Hamlet would drown in the sea of Shakespear’s many character’s and
would eventually become “Not to be.” Words and phrases make qualities and
qualities are what make great characters!!!