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God Complex? Does Hamlet have a god-complex? 

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I wouldn't say that Hamlet has a God complex. If he often gives that impression it's mainly because of his status as prince, which makes him think he's better than other people. Hamlet has been brought up to believe that he's a cut above the rest. In practical terms, this often leads to his treating those around him so appallingly, whether it's Ophelia, Polonius, or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

A number of scholars have suggested that Hamlet's notorious vacillation is down to his failure to reconcile his twin roles as Christian and prince. This failure is illustrated in act 3, scene 3, when Hamlet has a golden opportunity to kill Claudius while he's at prayer, yet doesn't do so because he's worried his wicked uncle might have been forgiven by God, and so will end up going to heaven, not hell.

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clane eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I don't know if it's as strong as a god-complex, but he certainly believes himself to be above some moral laws in the play. He murders Polonius and feel justified in doing so because he was behind the arras. He feels almost no remorse. He plots a murderous revenge on his uncle without guilt coming into play- his reservations lie in the courage to complete the task at the right time, but not because he is squeamish about committing murder. He certainly believes that he is smarter than the people around him, he is constantly speaking in riddles, knowing full well that no one will understand what he is saying, even though he thinks it's perfectly clear. For example when he is talking about the location of Polonius' body or when he is insulting Polonius to his face.

King- Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?

Hamlet- At supper.

King- At supper where?

Hamlet- Not where he eats, but where he is eaten.

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