prove why hamlet is considered as one of the complex characters in literature? what does hamlet has to say to the modern readers in terms of suicide,love and marriage,and women?

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danylyshen's profile pic

danylyshen | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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To prove why Hamlet is one of the most complex creations in all of literature would be a large and daunting task. On Suicide: You need to refer to Hamlet's infamous "To be or not to be speech" (3.1.55-88) and focus in on where he asks which is nobler: to "take arms against a sea of troubles / and by opposing, end them" or take the easier way out "when he himself might his quietus make / with a bare bodkin" (3.1.74-5).At this point in the play he is still the indecisive Prince, merely ruminating on the nature of existence.

On love and marriage, Hamlet is less kind, less delicate, and downright harsh. After the great soliloquy Polonius and Claudius orchestrate a meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia. He knows something is up, and sets to create a mask of madness and disrupt the plans of others. He tells Ophelia that if she marries he'll "give thee this plague for thy dowry" and that through marriage "wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them" (3.1.134-38). Hamlet vows that those that are married already will be safe--all but one.

danylyshen's profile pic

danylyshen | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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On women:Early in the play Hamlet muses on women as "frailty thy name is woman" because he is upset at his mother's o'er hasty marriage to his uncle. In this section specifically, his view of women changes from one of love "Nymph, in thy orizons / be all my sins remembered" to "God gave you one face, and you make yourselves another"(!).

There are many other references to suicide, love / marriage, and women. Check out some of the criticism and some of the enote guides available for more ammunition. 

engtchr5's profile pic

engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Let's talk for a minute about Hamlet's overall personality. Shakespeare made him melancholy, an emotion which, in and of itself, is not easily understood.

Hamlet's mood is defined as "black bile," which represents his state of melancholy in the first place. The brooding prince is never really clinically depressed, but he does display a good deal of sadness over the various events of this story. To understand the personality trait that is constituted by melancholy, one must observe both the dynamic and static nature of Hamlet's persona.

Hamlet's melancholy impacts all of the areas you have sub-listed above, as his personality is responsible for his previously mentioned responses to each (see prior answers). To say Hamlet is complex is, in some ways, understatement.

gnayuo's profile pic

gnayuo | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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why is he so complex.. well first ask yourself, is hamlet really becoming a maniac or is it just a mask. then why is he putting on this mask. how do he intent to achieve his mission by doing so? hamlet as a person who possesses brilliant intelligence at the same exposes his own motives to cladius with his little play within play. doesnt he know that he was once in the dark and after the mirror play on his fathers murder, he is then in the light.

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