Hamlet as a Dramatic Character
Hamlet is the main dramatic character of William Shakespeare’s tragedy. He has charmed spectators and readers through the ages. Critics consider him to be the most famous character ever created. The first thing to mention about Hamlet is his mysteriousness. There is always something about him that the reader can discover during the play. Even the most watchful and cunning person goes away with the feeling that he is not aware of everything about this character. There is something in Hamlet that attracts attention – particularly, his mother – nonetheless, his attraction includes much more than this thing. From the time the reader meets the downcast prince, he is captivated by his smart passion. When the main character of the tragedy speaks, he is heard as if there is somewhat rather significant he does not want to say. There is an impression that he is personally unaware of it. He is irresponsible, thoughtful, well-mannered, however, unfriendly and kindhearted though aggressive. Therefore, the character is covered by a mask of contradictions. Furthermore, the Hamlet’s character is full of infelicities. He possesses a lot of negative qualities such as indefiniteness, impulsiveness, detestation, cruelty, and passion. However, Hamlet is a famous tragic character and a prince.
The first impact of Hamlet’s character gives tone to the whole drama. The reader can imagine Hamlet’s features without Shakespeare’s detailed description. The author provides the following portrayal: soft face, deep, gloomy eyes, and messy hair. The character is dressed in completely black clothes. This shows all moods, shapes, and forms of sorrow. His mother cannot support but mention Hamlet’s outer appearance of grief. However, the main character makes it cleaar that the obvious symbols of sorrow are not a step close to realizing how much grief he experiences inside: “For they are the actions that a man might play \ But I have that within which passes show, \ These but the trappings and the suits of woe” (40).
In the beginning, Hamlet can appear as the weak personality. However, reading the tragedy further, the reader starts to appreciate Hamlet’s predicament. He leaves fresh in the heartbreaking circumstances; there are no person whom he can trust, with whom he can discuss his views and outlooks. Obviously, he had the only friend Horatio. First of all, Hamlet is beheld as an epic character. Gertrude embodies all females to him. Hamlet has a lot on his plate; formerly, he is said to punish his father's murder by a rather doubtful ghost whom he still queries in Act II.
Hamlet does not have any might to forget his father’s death. All things around him took up the happy lifetime. Hamlet’s mother, the queen, suffices to propose the rare peacemaking verses of wisdom. She considers that she has lost her lovely spouse and turns out to be quite unsupportive. At first sight, Claudius supports the queen and appears to be the only one who can help. Hamlet's terrific grief is increased by the lack of sensitivity by people who surround him, and more considerably, by the cruel acts of the queen, who wedded Hamlet’s uncle in a month after his father’s death. This deceit by his mother, whom Hamlet visibly respected in the past, unstitched the very artificial Hamlet's existence. He asked himself the question with recollections of his last father's sensitivity to the queen:
“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 Visit her face too roughly; heaven and earth, Must I remember?...” (45)
Due to the actions of Hamlet’s mother and uncle, Hamlet changes his attitude towards women. The innocent Ophelia suffers because of it. Hamlet gave his once-fostered Ophelia various love letters and presents. It is obvious that he did love the girl. He possibly had the feeling of sweet-smelling dedication towards Ophelia as the king had feelings to the queen. However, as a result of some crushing wanting to become the representative of his father who cannot himself discipline his treacherous spouse, or as a result of the gloomy fact that all the affection in him has actually wasted, Hamlet stands upon Ophelia and abolishes her with nearly inconceivable brutality.
Hamlet appears to have a malicious intention in retaliating his father’s death; he wishes Claudius to suffer, however, he was not knowledgeable enough to choose what should happen to Claudius after passing, and only God could arrive at a decision.
Hamlet's following actions plunk him to the lowest point in the whole play. Claudius understands the hazard which Hamlet poses. Therefore, he chooses to send him to England to murder. Whereas on the boat, Hamlet changes the order which has to kill him and gets in wrong his friends to save his life. This uncalled-for mischief and egoism is Hamlet’s lowest point in the tragedy. On the contrary, the end of the play is the highest point. Hamlet reaches the highest moral point. The reader notices him to be peaceful and morally ready to die after completing the vital mission on the Earth.
First of all, one of the important features of a tragic character is that he is responsible for his destiny. Hamlet has preferred to trust the Ghost and tried to demonstrate Claudius’ deeds. To begin, Hamlet was not completely persuaded of the things the Ghost had defined; consequently, he took it on himself to verify Claudius' guiltiness. Hamlet tries to define Claudius' responsibility through the whole tragedy. Claudius turns out to be very uncomfortable with the state of affairs relevant of preventing the play and leaving. This approves Claudius' guiltiness in relation to Hamlet; thus, he once more begins to punish his father's murder. The main character made himself unhappy and disappointed of life.
Hamlet has to be apprehended responsible for his behavior according to Ophelia. Moreover, it is one of the main things that he had to change. He must not view her as his mother since Ophelia is the innocent girl who needs real love. He is not confused or distrustful; his cruelty cannot be associated with foolishness. In his devastation of his adored girl, Hamlet is coherent and excellent, fired by anger and considerations of Gertrude's treachery. Ophelia is the one mainstream for the anger that he has to keep in secret from his father. The fact that Hamlet sincerely adores Ophelia and that his bottomless sympathy and appetite for fairness require him to act this way makes the reader determine that Hamlet is at the same time very cold-blooded and, at the same time, very honest. The real respect of his affection for Ophelia can just arise as soon as Hamlet understands that she is lifeless and free from her spoiled female trimmings.
Painful words and unpleasant sarcasm is a wanting to face those things that destiny prescripts him to hold in scorn. Affection, desire, and sensitivity vanished behind Hamlet’s surrounding barrier of despair and irresistible charge. The majestic couple's engagements have ruined his belief in kindness making him commit suicide. He announces, “I do not set my life at a pin's fee” (68), in addition, in act III, he speaks in monologue: “...To die; to sleep \ No more, and by a sleep to say we end…” (48).
Hamlet's everlasting self-analysis does finally aid him to overawe his unlimited angst. When he comes back from expulsion, the reader notices another Hamlet. He is peaceful, sensible, and less afraid of facing obstacles. He has realized that fate is finally controlling everything in one’s life.
Hamlet is ready to challenge the contradictory reality and punish his uncle for his father's death; for this purpose, he has to commit the identical action and search revenge. Using destiny as the blame, Hamlet can separate himself from the killing of Claudius. At that moment, he has reached the peak of his moralizing; he has made himself ready to die. When the tragic character finally dies, it is his significant qualities that make the permanent inscription in the reader’s mind.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 2002. Print.