What evidence is there in the text that Hamlet is an disillusioned idealist?

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jrbyron eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hi,

Hamlet is presented as a disillusioned idealist throughout the play, though especially in the first three acts of the play.  Hamlet is presented by Shakespeare as being an intellectual, a man not of action but of thoughts and words.  Throughout the play, Hamlet is obsessed by existential questions such as the meaning of life, fate, and the nature of man.  In Hamlet's early soliloquies (especially the first three) in the play, he shows a certain disappointment in the moral failings of Denmark since the death of his father.  This demonstrates that before the death of his father, Hamlet possessed a certain belief in moral beauty.  However, with the death of his father and the resulting moral degradation of Denmark, Hamlet, has become disillusioned with not only Denmark but also humanity in general, which leads to certain willingness if not hope to die.