Hamlet Character Analysis

Subject: Literature
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 844
Topics: Book, Hamlet, William Shakespeare


Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” is the longest and perhaps the most prominent English-language tragedy of all time. The leading character of the play is Hamlet. His actions illustrate him as a man with many inner conflicts, irrational, but careful. Shakespeare skillfully gives human traits of Hamlet’s character with such instability of emotions that no one can guess what he will perform in the future. Hamlet’s personality develops from the beginning under the influence of the factors surrounding him, the primary ones being the attitude of his mother, his uncle who is his father’s murderer and his behavior, as well as the ghost who convinces him to avenge his father’s death.

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Hamlet Character Analysis

At the beginning of the story, Hamlet is in a silent and suffering mood because of the murder of his father. Hamlet’s mother remarks on his unkempt appearance of mourning, but he explains that his appearance will never express the feelings that torment him inside. Although his mother had completely forgotten King Hamlet, Hamlet remembered his father well. In this situation, Hamlet’s grief is caused by the loss of feelings for people he loved, and most crucially – by the wicked acts of Gertrude. She married his uncle Claudius a month after the death of her husband, Hamlet’s father. In this instance, the betrayal of Gertrude, to whom the prince had deep affection, breaches Hamlet’s trust, and he ends up tormenting his mind with recollections of how King Hamlet cherished and cared for Gertrude.

Hamlet demonstrates great regard for his father, whom he likens to Hyperion, who was considered a titan in ancient mythology. At the same moment, he likens Claudius to a satyr who was the opposite of Hyperion. He was described in the worst possible manner. He was entitled a pig and a half-man for his high and foul character, and this gives Hamlet a god-like idea of his father. Therefore, Hamlet feels revulsion towards Claudius and his actions. While awaiting the ghost at the castle wall, Hamlet listens to the King’s conversation below, who tells Horatio how the world feels despised for his drunken countrymen.

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Ophelia participates in Hamlet’s plan to unmask Claudius in the most spectacular way imaginable. Hamlet begins to pretend to be an unstable, even insane man. He manipulates the image of a madman in order to deceive everyone and execute his plan. Thereby Hamlet offends the tender feelings of Ophelia. However, his perception of women was developed by the terrible actions of Gertrude and Claudius. Hamlet’s love for Ophelia is evidenced by the gifts and letters he gave her before her father’s death. Concentrating on thoughts of his father and revenge for his death, Hamlet’s love for Ophelia is lost, and he begins to treat her cruelly and therefore breaks her heart.

Hamlet is not in full charge of his emotions and ideas. At one moment he detests Ophelia, and at another he requires to have sexual intimacy with her. Indeed, readers may think that Hamlet is mad, but he is not concealed behind his unconventional image. Hamlet is definitely to be blamed for his hateful attitude towards Ophelia. Although Hamlet tries to maintain a clear mind, his anger over Gertrude’s betrayal leads him to destroy the innocent Ophelia. Hamlet employs Ophelia as an instrument to reveal his hostile conduct, which he conceals from Claudius. Hamlet’s feelings for Ophelia are only revealed when he discovers that she is dead and freed from feminine attributes.

Hamlet’s prosperous and carefree future is overshadowed by an encounter with the ghost of his father, who asks his son for revenge. Despite the fact that the man definitely wants to live to see his uncle pay for all his sins, he considers the murder of the king to be terrible. By revenge, the ghost means murder, which Hamlet is against. He hates Claudius for his treacherous actions, but for a man the position of killing someone is unacceptable. Therefore, Hamlet takes a lot of time to think before carrying out his revenge. He prays alone in his room that the opportune moment will arise when he can execute his murderous plan.

The prince’s long self-reflection allows him to cope with his anxious feelings after returning from exile. He understands that fate is a driving force alongside life and is prepared to see death with his own eyes in revenge for his father. He takes fate for granted and what is given to everyone to distract attention from the murder of King Claudius. With this apogee of philosophy, Hamlet has trained himself for death. Even after Hamlet’s death, the character traits of the prince remain in the memory of the audience for a long time.


In a nutshell, Hamlet can be characterized as smart, thoughtful and a philosopher who plays on the people around him by being manipulative in his actions. He realizes his mental condition after his acts have an impact on the people he cares for, such as the death of Ophelia. He is a genius character, most of his behaviors are more acting than his true identity.

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