Introduction to Hamlet Hamlet is arguably the greatest dramatic character ever created. From the moment we meet the crestfallen prince we are enraptured by his elegant intensity.
Whether considered as literature, philosophy, or drama, its artistic stature is universally admitted. To explain the reasons for its excellence in a few words, however, is a daunting task. According to this view, Hamlet is disturbed and eventually deranged by his Oedipal jealousy of the uncle who has done what, Freud claimed, all sons long to do themselves.
However, Renaissance drama is not generally a drama of motivation, either by psychological character or moral predetermination.
Rather, the Renaissance tendency is to present characters with well-delineated moral and ethical dispositions who are faced with dilemmas.
It is the outcome of these conflicts, the consequences rather than the process, that normally holds center stage. What Shakespeare presents in Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is an agonizing confrontation between the will of a good and intelligent man and the uncongenial role—that of avenger—that fate calls upon him to play.
The role of avenger is a familiar one in Renaissance drama. His father, whom he deeply loved and admired, is recently deceased, and he himself seems to have been robbed of his birthright.
If Hamlet had simply proceeded to act out the avenger role assigned to him, the play would have lacked the moral and theological complexity that provides its special fascination.
Hamlet has, after all, been a student of theology at Wittenberg, and his knowledge complicates the situation. He is unwilling to act unjustly, yet he is afraid that he is failing to exact a deserved retribution.
He debates the murky issue until he becomes unsure whether his own behavior is caused by moral scruple or cowardice. His ruminations stand in sharp contrast with the cynicism of Claudius and the verbose moral platitudes of Polonius, just as the play stands in sharp contrast with the moral simplicity of the ordinary revenge tragedy.
Having once decided on revenge, he wants to destroy his uncle body and soul. It is ironic that Hamlet is thwarted this time by the combination of theological insight with the extreme ferocity of his vengeful intention. After he leaves Claudius in prayer, the irony of the scene is intensified, for Claudius reveals to the audience that he has not been praying successfully and was not in a state of grace after all.
That Hamlet loses his mental stability is arguable from his behavior toward Ophelia and his subsequent meanderings. Circumstance has forced upon the prince a role whose enormity has overwhelmed the fine emotional and intellectual balance of a sensitive, well-educated man.
Gradually, he is shown regaining control of himself and arming himself with a cold determination to do what he has decided is the just thing. Even then, it is only in the carnage of the concluding scenes that Hamlet finally carries out his intention.
The arrival of Fortinbras, who has been lurking in the background throughout the play, superficially seems to indicate that a new, more direct and courageous order will prevail in the place of the evil of Claudius and the weakness of Hamlet.
He brings stasis and stability back to a disordered kingdom but does not have the self-consciousness and moral sensitivity that destroy and redeem Hamlet. If that is so, then Hamlet, by the conflict of his ethical will with his role, has purged the avenger of his bloodthirstiness and turned the stock figure into a self-conscious hero in moral conflict.But how is it that even seemingly negative qualities such as indecisiveness, hastiness, hate, brutality, and obsession can enhance Hamlet's position as a tragic hero; a prince among men?
To answer these questions we must journey with Hamlet from beginning to end, and examine the many facets of .
This maybe because she has a very close relationship with Hamlet. Also Fair Use Policy; Help Centre; Notifications. The Tragic Figure Of Shakespeares Ophelia English Literature Essay. Print Reference this.
Published: 23rd March, A Victorian audience would view her as an ideal woman; they would see her as idealistic, beautiful and. Hamlet Essay Hamlet, is a tragic play that takes place in Denmark, written by William Shakespeare in the sixteenth century.
Shakespeare uses his characters thoughts and actions to . Masculinity In Shakespeare. Print Reference this. Published: 23rd March Coriolanus and the plays I am going to investigate in the essay: Henry V, Hamlet and Othello.
Masculinity is expressed by various protagonists in the plays. These main features are truly masculine and in some way he even can be referred as an ideal man. But his. Essay on Hero in Shakespeare’s Henry V and The Hero by Siegfried Sassoon - ‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more’, one of the most celebrated openings to, arguably, the most famous passage within the entire Henry V Shakespeare play.
critical essay, literary analysis - Analysis of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Analysis of Ophelia's Character in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - In the English play Hamlet, Shakespeare incorporates deep analytical thought in his writing by the use of character, symbolism, and motifs.