What makes Prince Hamlet a unique character?

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poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hamlet is vastly different than the other characters in Shakespeare's play of the same name, largely due to his sensitive, tormented, tragic nature. He is a character who is constantly questioning the people and circumstances around him, and who is singularly obsessed with avenging his father. He doesn't seem to express normal human interests--eating, sleeping, seeking entertainment, etc.--and eschews the companionship of others. 

Hamlet is an extremely interior character, one who we only really get to know and understand through the frequent use of soliloquy throughout the text. Through this narrative style, which almost feels confessional, we learn of Hamlet's intense internal crisis: his self-doubt, constant analyzing, and wildly shifting moods. Although not universally loved by audiences who may find him frustrating, indecisive, and inept, he is easily one of the most complicated characters in the Western canon, which perhaps makes playing him such a sought-after pursuit for many actors. 

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Hamlet

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