Hamlet Characteristics| Character Analysis
Perhaps the greatest literal work in the English language, Shakespeare’s Hamlet is an exciting read that, unfortunately, ends in tragedy.
Written in the 17th century, Hamlet is the longest play (More than 30,000 words) in the list of Shakespeare’s plays and is considered as the world’s most popular play after Cinderella. Hamlet is even more popular than Shakespeare’s other famous masterpiece, Othello No fear.
A summary of Hamlet (Shakespeare)
The play tells the story of Prince Hamlet who is out to avenge his father’s death – the issue is that Hamlet’s father was murdered by his uncle Claudius, who has now seized the throne and married Hamlet’s mother.
The new king senses that the deceased son might try to kill him so he devises a plan to kill Hamlet first.
The rivalry between Hamlet and his uncle culminates in a deadly duel during which the queen, the new king, and Hamlet all die.
Hamlet has inspired other great writers including the likes of Iris Murdoch, Charles Dickens, James Joyce, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Also, Hamlet is a popular theatre play in many parts of the world- in fact, famous 21st-century actors such as Michael Sheen, Ben Whishaw, Oscar Isaac, and Rory Kinnear have all played the lead role.
In 2015, British actress Zainab Jah made history as the first black woman to play the role of Hamlet.
Some of Jah’s other appearances include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Law & Order.
Prince Hamlet Characteristics
Hamlet is a well-studied young man who is mostly thoughtful and reflective. This allows him to easily manipulate situations and twist words to his advantage as is the case when he leads them on a futile chase for Polonius’ body. Another instance where Hamlet is openly manipulative is when he mocks Polonius with twisted words that are beyond the old man’s comprehension.
Cynical, bitter, and with disgust are also some of Hamlet’s characteristics that are evident right from the Act1. Specifically, Hamlet is filled with disgust hatred for his uncle for killing his mother and marrying the queen.
Other characteristics of Hamlet include: Hamlet can be impulsive and rash, often he is hesitant and indecisive.
A good example of Hamlet’s rashness is when he instinctively stabs Polonius through a curtain. In a sense, Hamlet is easily seduced into the role of an erratic man, often upsetting his fellow men with pointed innuendos and wild speeches.
Hamlet can also be a sensitive man as evidenced by his emotional breakdown when his father is killed.
He becomes emotionally unstable and is fixated on avenging his father’s death. To add salt into injury, Hamlet’s mother is caught up in a sexual relationship with h his father’s killer.
Although Hamlet was ruthless – he mercilessly killed Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, and Polonius – he was also sensitive and emotionally attached to people close to him.