Hamlet, the title character and protagonist of the play, is the troubled young prince of Denmark. Although someone of his station may seem to be powerful and free, we see that he is not. Instead, he is put under extreme pressure and constraints as a result of his grief and supernatural visitation.
Throughout the story, we frequently get a glimpse of the analytical way in which Hamlet approaches the world. He is constantly trying to get to the truth of matters. This applies not only to the facts behind his father's death but to the actual nature of what it means to be a human and alive. The royal court at Elsinore is one of show, subterfuge, and deception. Hamlet, ever an idealist, wants to pull back the curtain of palace intrigue and expose the truth.
Through his numerous soliloquies, the audience really gets to know Hamlet and his thoughts. Hamlet is never free to speak his mind to the other characters. He feels compelled to play the part of a dutiful prince and son. Yet, when he directly addresses the audience, we see that he is a greatly conflicted young man. These conflicts revolve around a desire for revenge versus taking another's life, his mother's sexuality, and familial duties. It is no wonder that Hamlet appears mentally unbalanced. As an audience, we are often left to wonder just how much control over his faculties Hamlet actually has.
These internal conflicts lead to a great deal of indecisiveness. He struggles with making bold choices and instead frequently resorts to half-measures which just lead to more turmoil.