Explain the conflict in "Hamlet".

Expert Answers
mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I highly suggest reading the play, if you haven't already; it's a great play that is well worth the read. On the topic of conflict, think about the main issues that Hamlet struggles with.  The entire play, he knows that his father has been murdered by his uncle, and yet does not act on that knowledge.  He is conflicted; he wonders if the knowledge from the ghost is trustworthy, and doesn't want to just go kill someone based on a ghost's word.  So, he struggles the entire time between his desire for revenge, and his cowardice and uncertainty in the face of killing a man.  Most of the conflict in the play comes from that main dynamic.  Many conflicts can fall under one of several categories:  "Man vs. Man", "Man vs. Nature" and "Man vs. Self".  In this play, it seems on the outside to be a "Man vs. Man" struggle, between Hamlet and Claudius, but when you look deeper, it is more of a "Man vs. Self" play, as Hamlet struggles with himself until he can reach the conclusion that "the readiness is all" and move forward with revenge, casting his doubts and fears aside.

mrtaylor | Student

The two types of conflict are internal and external. In Hamlet, the conflict centers around Hamlet and Claudius.

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