What Does Act 1 Scene 2 Tell Us About Hamlet’s Character? I've got to write 1000 words on this topic - normally I wouldn't bother asking as I like to do everything myself, but I was ill for a...

What Does Act 1 Scene 2 Tell Us About Hamlet’s Character?

I've got to write 1000 words on this topic - normally I wouldn't bother asking as I like to do everything myself, but I was ill for a week, and my teacher thought he'd set me the essay that everyone else had 2 weeks to do for tomorrow! /rant over :p

Anyway, I've done about 350 words on this Hamlet essay, any good points/ideas to help me out?

thanks :)

Expert Answers
lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You will need to flesh these ideas out a bit with your own quotes and analysis, but we learn a lot about Hamlet in these first few minutes that we see him on stage.  His first line, "a little more than kin and less than kind" reveals his wit (the play on kin/kind) and his anger over being now more closely related to Claudius due to his father's death and Claudius' marriage to his Gertrude.

Hamlet's next line also reveals wit and the same feelings as above with his pun on sun/son.

Once he talks to his mother he reveals the sincerity of his grief over his father's death, making it clear that the outward appearance of mourning is nothing compared to the depth of his inner emotions.

He shows consideration to his mother (more than Claudius) when he agrees to stay in Denmark because she asked him (not because of Claudius).

Most important to an analysis of Act 1 Scene 2 is Hamlet's first soliloquy.  In this he reveals his wish disappear or die.  He reveals his moral judgement of the quick remarriage of his mother to his uncle, Claudius.  He reveals his cynical nature about women in general, and his mother in particular.  He shows a respect for his father, stating that Claudius is nothing as great as his father was.  He says that comparing the two brothers would be as crazy as saying that Prince Hamlet is like Hercules.

The beginnings of Hamlet's emotional complexity are shown in just his first 50 lines!

His subsequent conversation with Horation shows his questioning nature, as he introgates Horatio about what the ghost's appearance.

 

Read the study guide:
Hamlet

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