Hamlet Analysis

2827 words - 12 pages

A good play leaves the readers guessing; it must not be a simple story in which

the characters are clearly defined and easy to read. A good play needs to be read over

and over by many people, with many different inferences, in order to get a full picture

of what the author may have been thinking. A good play will leave us thinking, a play

which we can read from beginning to end without critical thought will be easier to

forget as opposed to one which we invest thought in. William Shakespeare‘s Hamlet

is considered one of the greatest plays of all time due to its dynamic characters and the

many unanswered questions about the motives of these characters. The plot takes many
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He is granted consent. Claudius asks Hamlet why he is still so grief-stricken that he

continues to wear all black. He then tells Hamlet that all men must deal with the loss

of their fathers and while it is okay to grieve for a while it is not becoming of someone

to remain in grief for so long. He also forbids him from returning to Wittenberg, where

he had been previously, and to instead live in the castle with him and his mother. This

just goes to show the kind of person Claudius is, he does not really care about Hamlet’s

feelings or wants.

Laertes prepares to leave for France before he departs he offers his sister Ophelia

advice about her love affair with Prince Hamlet. He says that his status will prevent him

from being able to have an honorable relationship with her. His father enters the room

and him some advice before he leaves for France. He tells him to act with dignity and

to not start fights but to fight boldly if the necessity arises. There is a striking contrast

between the two families represented in the play. Laertes’ father offers him advice in how

to act and encourages him to follow his heart‘s desire while Claudius, Hamlet’s “father-

uncle” if you will, tells him that he should get over his father’s death because it happens

to everyone and discourages him from continuing his education at Wittenberg. While

Polonius encourages Laertes to do what he wishes he discourages Ophelia from pursuing

her relationship with Hamlet and forbids her from seeing him.

Hamlet meets the ghost that he presumes to be his dead father. The ghost tells

Hamlet that he was murdered and that the one who murdered him now wears his crown

and Hamlet’s worst fear has been realized. His uncle murdered his father by poison in the

ear. The spirit tells Hamlet to seek revenge on Claudius for the corruption he has caused

both to his country and to his wife. Although the King wants revenge on Claudius he

does not want to see the Queen harmed because he believes that her guilty conscience

alone will be enough punishment for her. Hamlet’s meeting with his father’s ghost is the

rising action of the play.

After this meeting Hamlet refuses to tell Horatio and Marcellus what he has seen

and tells them not to tell anyone if he should pretend to be a madman. Many people

debate about whether or not Hamelt actually was crazy to an extent or if it was all an act.

Most agree that the meeting with his father’s ghost and the revelation that his uncle had

killed him in a plot to win the crown had pushed him to the edge of madness and he

played it off, perhaps so that no one would know his real motives to kill Claudius or that

he even knew Claudius did it in the first place.

The idea of revenge, a central theme, has now been introduced in the play with

King Hamlet ordering Hamlet to seek revenge on his uncle. Hamlet wants revenge on his

father’s death, as will Laertes later on in the play, and we will see the...

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