Briefly describe Hamlet and also how Hamlet changes during the play.
I really just need any and all of your personal opinions of Hamlet. I'm trying to write a character analysis on Hamlet and really need opinions and thoughts. I want to make sure that I've covered any and all angles on Hamlet and his character. Thanks for your help!
Hamlet undergoes the following transformations:
- Act I (before the Ghost): college student; passed-over, pouty Prince; the Melancholy Dane; Christian; blames his mother
- Act I (after the Ghost): in awe of supernatural; awakened to the corruption of Denmark; blames mother and uncle; pre-Avenger role
- Act II: Crazy Hamlet: the use of non-verbal costuming (appearing to Ophelia all disheveled) and the use of verbal satirical art to expose the flaws of characters (Polonius and Claudius) and society
- Act III: Actor Hamlet (use of the theater to expose Claudius' guilt and his mother's infidelities). Turning point is when he kills for the first time (Murdering Hamlet). Polonius' death gives advantage to Claudius.
- Act IV: Exiled Hamlet. His viewing of Fortinbras army, seeing England, and excursion with the pirates give Hamlet more motivation to become an Avenger
- Act V: Avenger Hamlet. Avenges not only of his father's death but of all of Denmark's corruption. This Hamlet accepts death; he is ready to die "the readiness is all." He is honored by Fortinbras (becomes a militant Ghost like his father).
One personality trait of Hamlet's in Shakespeare's Hamlet that doesn't receive as much attention as his more famous personality traits, is his distaste for others thinking they are smarter than he is.
Hamlet's verbally and physcially aggressive reactions usually result from others thinking they can manipulate or trick or play him. He is cruel to Ophelia because she is spying on him. The same, in part, is true of Hamlet's verbal denunciations of Polonius. And Ros. and Guil. are belittled for the same reason in the recorder scene. Hamlet makes the point that if Ros. and Guil. can't play a simple musical instrument (he speaks directly to one of the two, but they are interchangeable), they cannot expect to "play" him.
Hamlet is constantly underestimated in the play, by Claudius and all of his spies, as well as by his mother, Gertrude. And Hamlet doesn't like it. He is the most intelligent character in the play, and he does not like being messed with, if you will.