Characterization of Hamlet

In: English and Literature

Submitted By MisTyRi
Words 1062
Pages 5
The Characterization of Hamlet

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is an emotional play, filled with such dark attributes as revenge and evil. In Act I Scene II, Hamlet, the protagonist of the play, makes his first appearance and also, right after an exchange with his mother Gertrude and his uncle Claudius, delivers his first soliloquy which reveals his inner thoughts to the audience. This is where the tension begins to build up; Hamlet expresses his anger and frustration he feels towards his father’s death and the hasty marriage between his mother and his uncle. This introduces Hamlet’s outlook on and attitude towards this series of events, thus establishing a foundation for the course of his future actions. Through the content of the soliloquy, as well as through the use of diction and figurative language, Shakespeare brings out the characterization of Hamlet, establishes the very essence of the play and foreshadows its course by exposing the genuine yet dark thoughts of the protagonist to the audience. As it is Hamlet’s first soliloquy, and thus the audience’s first contact with his feelings, Hamlet exposes little other than his attitude towards this affair; nothing is really revealed about his intentions. It is made clear that Hamlet desires to die, but dares not commit suicide because God forbids it. The audience is then introduced to Hamlet’s reverence for his father and his distaste for his uncle, then his increasing mistrust of women, and finally his vexation at the incestuous marriage between his mother and his uncle. All of this gives the audience an understanding of Hamlet’s character, or, at least, his current state of mind. Although his intentions are not directly voiced, the viewer is able to grasp at Hamlet’s possible actions given the tone of his lines. The tone changes throughout this soliloquy along with its change of subject and content. At first it…...

Similar Documents

Shakespeare's Hamlet

...One of the most unique things about the play Hamlet (with Hamlet playing the main character) is the way relationships between the main and lesser characters have not changed from Shakespeare's time period in which he wrote this play to the modern dilemmas of today. The character Hamlet relates through individualism of self to others in the play and Shakespeare uses this confusion of self and nature thus assuring many types of readers who can relate to his Hamlet characterization. Hamlet portrays himself with all his human flaws, but it is this humanity that makes him distinctive from everyone else in the story. In addition, all of Hamlet's waking hours are preoccupied with his own thoughts thus adding more intensity to his feelings and perceptions about where he sees imperfections, worry and tension as well as confusion, but without a doubt it is these human qualities which makes his situation so impossible for him to resolve easily. Another tragic role of the play is its irony. The irony allows the storyline to show humor as well as the cause and effects of each action taken. There is usually little reason for a tragedy to be funny so Shakespeare has used this type of humor to add more irony to the already tragic events of the play. Pause for thought is in the types of conflict that play a major part in the play and the relationships between Hamlet and the two people who have been closest to him; being Ophelia and the ghost. Hamlet cannot share his strong feelings and......

Words: 1880 - Pages: 8

Hamlet

...poetic and inspiring person. With all of his burdens, it is no wonder that Hamlet is so prone to sadness. Many people would simply give up and stop looking for justice. However, Hamlet proves that he is a tragic hero by using his anger, resentment and sadness to motivate him to seek a just revenge which is, of course, Cladius’s death. What is very interesting about the play, however, is that Hamlet delays this revenge for almost the whole play. He discovers Cladius’s betrayal in Act I when the ghost of his father visits him. Yet, he does not really strive to get revenge until late in the final act, Act V. This is evidence of just how depressed he is. As everyone knows, depression really affects behavior. It tends to make people inactive and unmotivated. Even though Hamlet knows he has been betrayed by his mother and uncle, his anger about that is far outweighed by his depression. It tends to blunt the instinct he has to seek revenge. However, when Hamlet discovers proof of his uncle’s treachery (the letter to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern), he is ready to take revenge. Outside of murder and betrayal, there are other reasons for Hamlet’s depression: the death of his love, Ophelia, his resentment toward his mother, his betrayal by his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and the overwhelming feeling that his father, King Hamlet, did not deserve to die. King Hamlet’s death obviously affects Hamlet. It is even worse, because he knows that it is the King’s......

Words: 1375 - Pages: 6

Characterization in the Play Hamlet

...Hamlet is one of the greatest Shakespeare’s plays that have for a long time fascinated many readers all around the globe. The character of hamlet plays a central role in the Shakespeare’s tragic play which has the same name. When the play starts Hamlet is far from being a commanding figure. The play starts with Hamlet striking a defensive poster. He is very resentful of what had happened. The play paints an image of a man who is very thoughtful. It is maybe for this reason that he is the main protagonist in this tragic drama. Hamlet takes time to think about incidents in his life a trait that keeps the play moving. He takes time before acting which raises the question of to why he is the central figure in the play. The start of the play also paints an image of a depressed hamlet. All through the play Hamlet is a victim of his cruel fate. Although he is melancholic, Hamlet is a schemer and very secretive. After the ghost revealed to him who his father’s killer was, Hamlet does not jump into action but opts to think about the incident first. He also makes Horatio and Marcellus to vow to keep the ghost story a secret. Hamlet has been able to make this one of the best plays maybe due to his complicated character which is hard for the other characters to understand. He himself acknowledges at the start of the play that “Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother nor customary suits of solemn black” (I.ii.77-84). By this he acknowledges that he is a character with more than one......

Words: 1188 - Pages: 5

Hamlet

...Essay #4 Revenge causes the characters in Hamlet to act blindly through anger and emotion, rather than through reason. It is based on the Old Testament principle of an eye for an eye; this action is not always the best means to an end. Fortinbras, Laertes, and Hamlet were all looking to avenge the deaths of their fathers. They all acted on emotion driven by the want for revenge for their father's deaths, and this led to the downfall of two, and the rise to power of one. Since the heads of the three major families were each murdered, the eldest sons of these families felt that they needed to take some kind of action to avenge their father's deaths; this need to bring honor to their respective families was ultimately the demise of Laertes and Hamlet. To set the background we will start with Hamlet himself. Hamlet is the prince and heir to the Danish throne, under the King, his father, also Hamlet. His father has recently enjoyed a wildly successful military campaign against the King of Norway and actually killed King Fortinbras in a one on one battle to the death. By doing this, he is made a clear target of Prince Fortinbras, the son and soon-to-be-king of Norway. Also looking at his recent successes is his brother Claudius, who allegedly plots to kill the elder Hamlet in order to steal wife and Kingdom. Once the deed is done, Hamlet is visited by a ghost who explains the plot of Claudius. In order to divert attention, Hamlet begins to act as though he was mad. An......

Words: 1412 - Pages: 6

Characterization

...Characterization 1. Who are the main characters in the stories? Young Goodman Brown Goodman Brown Faith Old man/Devil The Lottery Tessie Hutchinson Old man Warner Mr. Summers 2. What are their outstanding qualities? Does the author give any indication as to how or why the character developed these qualities? Young Goodman Brown Goodman Brown Curiosity Christian Married to Faith Protagonist Proud of family history of godly men His faith is based on what we has learned and seen publically by his father and elders of the church. His faith is built upon social structures. Corrupt and evil toward the end of the story Faith Wife Beautiful & young Trusting Has nightmares Represents stability of the Browns home Pure hearted Ribbons represent young, playful, and pure Old man/Devil Appears to be an ordinary man which represents, that everyone has the capacity for evil The devil Appears to be normal and not out of place like I thought he would. Lasting impression on Goodman Brown Holds a walking staff that looks like a serpent The Lottery Tessie Hutchinson Late Stands out to the whole town Threatening Flustered Out of breath Free spirited Protests against the lottery Draws the marked paper Stoned to death Silenced by everyone Old man Warner Oldest man in town Participated in 77 lottery’s Doesn’t want to change the lottery tradition Keeps things exactly the way they are Threatened by the idea of change Thinks the......

Words: 340 - Pages: 2

Hamlet

...and Origin of Hamlet Although I enjoyed reading many of the texts throughout the semester during this course, my favorite reading was Hamlet. Only the first part of the book was assigned to read, but I was very interested to hear about the end of the book. I decided that this would be a good opportunity to read the rest of the book and use it for my final paper in the class. Not only did I get to finish the book, I also learned much about the author William Shakespeare and the country of England. I hope to make it clear of my understanding of the text, author, and country in this final paper. Hamlet has not only taught me the importance of family and struggle with fate, but has also given me a better understanding of whom and where the novel originated. The text begins in Denmark where a ghost walks the embankments of Elsinore Castle. The ghost is first discovered by some guards, then by Horatio. Horatio is a close friend and former classmate of Hamlet. The ghost resembles the recently deceased King Hamlet, Hamlet’s father. King Hamlet’s brother, Claudius has inherited the throne and married the king’s widow, Queen Gertrude. Gertrude is Hamlet’s mother. When Horatio and the guards bring Prince Hamlet to see the ghost, it speaks to him. The ghost threateningly states that it is his father’s spirit, and that he was murdered by Claudius. He orders Hamlet to seek revenge on the man who seized his throne and married his wife, and then disappears. Prince Hamlet decides to......

Words: 1402 - Pages: 6

Phenotypic Characterization

...SECTION A: CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK 1. What is phenotypic characterization? In these guidelines, the term “phenotypic characterization of AnGR” is used to refer to the process of identifying distinct breed populations and describing their characteristics and those of their production environments. In this context, the term “production environment” is taken to include not only the “natural” environment but also management practices and the common uses to which the animals are put, as well as social and economic factors such as market orientation, niche marketing opportunities and gender issues. Recording the geographical distribution of breed populations is here considered to be an integral part of phenotypic characterization. Complementary procedures used to unravel the genetic basis of the phenotypes of AnGR, their patterns of inheritance from one generation to the next, and to establish relationships between breeds are referred to as molecular genetic characterization (FAO, 2010b). In essence, phenotypic and molecular genetic characterization of AnGR are used to measure and describe genetic diversity in these resources as a basis for understanding them and utilizing them sustainably. The guidelines distinguish between two phases or levels of characterization. The term “primary characterization” is used to refer to activities that can be carried out in a single visit to the field (e.g. measurement of animals’ morphological features, interviews with livestock......

Words: 8523 - Pages: 35

Hamlet

...In order to understand Hamlet, we must understand his frustration. This frustration is most clear in his famous monologue, famously beginning with the line "Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I." This self-condemnation is contrasted by his admiration for the actor of the previous scene, who "in a fiction" is able to "force his soul to his own conceit." The word "soul" is an example of metonymy, as the soul represents the actor's "visage," "tears," "distraction," and "voice." Thus Hamlet equates "soul" with one's actions, so by his own comparison his soul is weak, as he does not take action against the king. The second sentence is furthermore a rhetorical question, beginning with, "Is it notŠ" So clearly Hamlet's lack of emotion is "monstrous" in his own mind at the very start of the monologue. The equation of "Hecuba" to "nothing" is then contrasted by Hamlet's "cue" being the murder of his father. Hamlet then states that the actor would "drown the stage with tears" if he were in Hamlet's position. The visual hyperbole which is compounded by the repetit... ... middle of paper ... ...tions: Hamlet. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1986. Rpt. from Tragic Alphabet: Shakespeare's Drama of Language. N. p.: Yale University Press, 1974. Rosenberg, Marvin. "Laertes: An Impulsive but Earnest Young Aristocrat." Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Masks of Hamlet. Newark, NJ: University of Delaware Press,......

Words: 1325 - Pages: 6

Hamlet

...Horatio, to watch with them. When he sees the ghost, he decides they should tell Hamlet, the dead King's son. Hamlet is also the nephew of the present King, Claudius, who not only assumed his dead brother's crown but also married his widow, Gertrude. Claudius seems an able King, easily handling the threat of the Norwegian Prince Fortinbras. But Hamlet is furious about Gertrude's marriage to Claudius. Hamlet meets the ghost, which claims to be the spirit of his father, murdered by Claudius. Hamlet quickly accepts the ghost's command to seek revenge. Yet Hamlet is uncertain if what the ghost said is true. He delays his revenge and begins to act half-mad, contemplate suicide, and becomes furious at all women. The Lord Chamberlain, Polonius, concludes that Hamlet's behavior comes from lovesickness for Ophelia, Polonius's daughter. Claudius and Gertrude summon two of Hamlet's old friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to find out what's wrong with him. As Polonius develops a plot to spy on a meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia, Hamlet develops a plot of his own: to have a recently arrived troupe of actors put on a play that resembles Claudius's alleged murder of Old Hamlet, and watch Claudius's reaction. Polonius and Claudius spy on the meeting between Ophelia and Hamlet, during which Hamlet flies into a rage against women and marriage. Claudius concludes Hamlet neither loves Ophelia nor is mad. Seeing Hamlet as a threat, he decides to send him away. At the play that night,......

Words: 10550 - Pages: 43

Hamlet

...In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, a lot of the characters tried to avenge a family member’s death by killing another person, which resulted in terrible consequences. There were many terrible sins committed, most of which were related to lies, betrayal and worst of all, murder. These terrible sins eventually led to negative consequences which built up and led to death. Everyone in the play Hamlet committed sins except for Horatio, who was the only survivor at the end of the play. This proves that all the other characters committed terrible sins that led to death. The sins and mistakes these other characters made led to their death. All of the characters in Hamlet deserved what they got. Both Hamlet and Laertes tried to avenge the death of a loved one by wanting to kill someone else. Claudius murdered his own brother for selfish needs; all three characters deserved death as a consequence. Young Hamlet has committed murder; Hamlet has killed his own uncle king Claudius for revenge. Revenge resulting to murder is a sin, which exactly what Hamlet did, he committed a sin. “A villain kills my father, and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send.” (III.iii.76-77) After Hamlet found out the truth of his father’s death he decided to avenge his death, which meant killing Claudius. The thought of killing someone is a murderous sin. The fact that Hamlet wants to murder Claudius means that Hamlet has committed a sin. Hamlet did not only think......

Words: 1245 - Pages: 5

Hamlet

...established.  Written during the first part of the seventeenth century (probably in 1600 or 1601),Hamlet was probably first performed in July 1602. It was first published in printed form in 1603 and appeared in an enlarged edition in 1604. Hamlet is faced with the difficult task of correcting an injustice that he can never have sufficient knowledge of a dilemma that is by no means unique, or even uncommon. And while Hamlet is fond of pointing out questions that cannot be answered because they concern supernatural and metaphysical matters, the play as a whole chiefly demonstrates the difficulty of knowing the truth about other people—their guilt or innocence, their motivations, their feelings, their relative states of sanity or insanity. The world of other people is a world of appearances, and Hamlet is, fundamentally, a play about the difficulty of living in that world. Plot Overview Hamlet is the prince of Denmark, his father was the king but he died. Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius has taken over as king and married Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude. At the beginning of the play, a ghost walks the ramparts of Elsinore Castle in Denmark. Discovered first by a pair of watchmen, then by the scholar Horatio, the ghost resembles the recently deceased King Hamlet, whose brother Claudius has inherited the throne and married the king’s widow, Queen Gertrude. When Horatio and the watchmen bring Prince Hamlet, the son of Gertrude and the dead king, to see the ghost, it speaks to him,......

Words: 5491 - Pages: 22

Characterization

...Characterization is the process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character. In the short story ,“Passing” by Langston Hughes, the protagonist’s personality is described through an indirect self characterization. In fact, the author never directly tells the reader how to regard the protagonist but reveals his personality, step by step, through the long letter that he writes to his mother. In this letter Jack, the protagonist of the short story, recalls his past, describes the life he lives and his plan for the future explaining the reasons, which have led him, an extremely light-skinned coloured young man, to deny his identity and to reject his family in order to pass for a white man. At the very beginning of the letter (line 6) he apologises to his mother for not speaking to her, insisting to do so in fear of losing his well-paid job (lines 25-26) if identified as coloured in a society that only grants well paid jobs to white people (lines 26-31). He, basically, pretends that he has taken the decision of living white only because she, his mother, asked him to (lines 35-39) and because he wants to support the family (lines 92-93). He also insists that he feels terrible about having to deny his mother and his siblings (line 50) and that this situation is hard for him to endure (lines 52-59). At a first reading Jack appears to be a person who truly loves and cares for his family, the victim of a racist society, which denies black people equal opportunities and...

Words: 942 - Pages: 4

Characterization in to the Lighthouse

...Q3: Characterization in To the Lighthouse is presented in terms of multiple perspectives. Elaborate on this statement demonstrating the influence of this method of presenting on characterization in the novel and significance of the modernist style of writing which emphasizes the alternation between consciousnesses of character. To the Lighthouse is considered as one of Virginia Woolf most famous novels. The story deals with the Ramsay family experiences while staying at their home in Cornwall. In To the Lighthouse novel, the main concern is within Mrs. Ramsay’s thoughts and emotions. The narrator in the novel introduces to us a very different world than the one we’re living in: the world inside somebody else’s head. Woolf chose to write this novel in a very strange and complex way using unfamiliar techniques. This unique technique of writing was achieved with the use of the multiple perspective and the stream of consciousness techniques. Each character in the novel is presented through multiple perspectives. Thus, the readers cannot decide on a single interpretation or agree on the same analysis for each character. Mrs. Ramsay. For example, is a charmingly good woman with good personality, yet she is concerned with the other characters’ lives and ends up interfering in them a lot. She also cares for everybody, considering her own thoughts and ignoring others’, and this is clear when she advises Lily to marry William Banke, an old friend of the Ramsay family. This......

Words: 987 - Pages: 4

Hamlet

...Effect |  In Act I.v, the Ghost of King Hamlet reveals to Hamlet that the King had been poisoned to death by Claudius.  Dramatic irony occurs because Hamlet, the Ghost and we know the truth that Claudius murdered Hamlet's father.Dramatic irony occurs because only the readers and his friends Marcellus and Horatio know that Hamlet is only pretending to be mad.Ophelia and Polonious thinks that Hamlet is mad in love with Ophelia but only we and his friends know that Hamlet is only pretending to be mad.  |  Hamlet, Ghost and Claudius    |  Sympathy with Hamlet and his father.Antipathy with Claudius |  Claudius killed the father of Hamlet. And no one knew the reality.Antipathy for Claudius because he murdered his own brother and became the king. |   | | Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus | Sympathy with Hamlet. | Sympathy with Hamlet because he knows that his father had been murdered but couldn’t reveal the truth. | | | Hamlet, Ophelia and Polonious | Sympathy with Ophelia. | Sympathy with Ophelia because she also thought that Hamlet was mad, which made her sad. | | | | | | | |       |   |   |   | Dramatic Irony Critical Analysis- For my critical analysis of dramatic irony in Hamlet I chose when Hamlet learns that his father was poisoned by Claudius. This situation is dramatic irony because Hamlet and the reader know that it was Claudius was the one that killed Hamlet’s father, but the rest of Denmark believes that King Hamlet was bitten by a snake. The rest......

Words: 527 - Pages: 3

Characterization

...Ashley Brown Mr.Everly English 10B 4/17/1 Lord of the Flies: Characterization What is good characterization? Characterization is the way an author presents and develops a character to make them believable. This essay will focus on three believable characters. One of the believable characters is Ralph. Another believable character is Jack. The last believable character is Simon. Because William Golding wanted believable characters, he made Ralph round and dynamic, Jack flat and static, and Simon round and static. One interesting character is Ralph. For example Ralph is a round character because he has multiple traits. Sometimes he borders on savagery, and sometimes he acts civilized. In chapter 2, the children are setting to get rescued. During the conversation, Ralph tells the boys, “We ought to have more rules. Where the conch is, that’s a meeting. The same up here as down there”(42). This shows that Ralph wants to be civilized, but he had times where he was savage too. The best example of Ralph’s savagery is where he helps kill Simon later in the book. Moreover, Ralph is dynamic because he changes throughout the novel. Early in the novel, Ralph is carefree and happy person. By the end, however he becomes very sad and guilty. At the end, Ralph was about to be killed by Jack, but was saved at the last second. This brought a lot of emotion. Ralph cries because he knows that man is not innocent or good, and he cries because Piggy has died (202). Ralph......

Words: 661 - Pages: 3