How is Hamlet selfish and manipulative (i.e., ways in which he does not care about the effects of his actions)?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At the beginning of the play, Prince Hamlet is overwhelmed with emotion following the tragic death of his beloved father and his mother's recent marriage to his unscrupulous uncle Claudius. After Hamlet interacts with his father's ghost, he discovers that Claudius assassinated his father and vows to get revenge.

Hamlet then informs his friends that he will "put an antic disposition on" in order to confuse his uncle while he plots his revenge. In doing so, Hamlet develops into a rather self-centered, manipulative man, who is primarily concerned with self-preservation and discovering the perfect way to avenge his father's death. Hamlet displays his selfish personality by offending his former sweetheart, Ophelia, by telling her, "Get thee to a nunnery." He is not concerned with her feelings and proceeds to play games with her heart by purposefully acting mad and briefly showing signs of affection. Hamlet's mind games with Ophelia contribute to her heartache and diminishing mental health.


(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1083 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team