Hamlet Character Essay

Words: 1185
Pages: 5

The Troubled Prince: An Analysis of Hamlet
“To be, or not to be: That is the question”(3.1.58). This is probably the most famous quote in all of Shakespearean literature and was uttered by the main character, Hamlet, of the play “Hamlet” written by Shakespeare. It demonstrates his instability and suicidal thoughts. Throughout the play he comes off as a very unpredictable and complex character. He makes many rash decisions, but at the same time often takes a lot of time to contemplate many of his choices. Through Hamlet’s language and voice, we can examine what type of character Shakespeare created. Hamlet acts differently towards people in contrast to his actual thoughts, which are projected through his soliloquies. Due to the insanity
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Additionally, Hamlet is often witty, sarcastic and a “deviant,” especially compared to the formal tone most other characters have (Blankenship). For example when Claudius asks why he is so gloomy, he sarcastically responds, “Not so, my lord. I am too much i' th' sun” (1.2.67). Another example is when he tells Ophelia to “Get thee to a nunnery” (3.1.125). Both of these show how he refuses to tell people how he really feels and would rather responds with biting sarcasm. Especially since, he supposedly loves Ophelia at one point but now rudely insults her. This is very surprising and demonstrates how confused he is about his emotions. Although he speaks in more prose to other people, there is definitely a sense of intellect with his words. He chooses better, more complicated words than most of the other characters in this play. Shakespeare’s use of syntax in Hamlet’s abnormal sentence structure shows that Hamlet was well-educated and used sophisticated language:
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again. What may this mean 680
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel,
Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon (1.4.36)
Also, Hamlet often speaks in prose to common folk. For example, when he commands Guildenstern to play the pipe he says, “Will you play upon this pipe?”(3.2.180). Additionally, in Act I, Scene II, when he speaks to Horatio, a servant, he also talks in prose. However, when he addresses a