Character of Hamlet is a blend of idealism and futility, how is this presented through his speeches in Hamlet?

Expert Answers
kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you are looking for Hamlet speaking positively, even hinting at the immortality or perfection of a human, you need look no further than his description of or discussion of his father.  In Act I, scene ii he refers to his father as being like Hyperion or Hercules.  Though he is often very down on himself, Hamlet does at times suggest that people are capable of great acts.  He also suggests great possibility in men at the end of Act IV, when he speaks thusly:

Sure he hath made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and godlike reason to fust in us unused

Clearly Hamlet believes we have great powers, we are more than beasts.

But he also discourses at length about the futility of life, in the same speech where he lionizes his father he debates whether or not to kill himself and laments that he cannot even make that decision.

Later he also regrets his inability to act, unsure of whether his father was murdered for sure, and he recounts this futility with great passion repeatedly.

Read the study guide:

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question