Hamlet Character, His Relationships and Behavior

February 3, 2022 by Essay Writer

Shakespeare gives very clear indications through the way Hamlet confides in his mother. After piercing “daggers” and arousing her conscience Hamlet reveals his love for his mother and thus explains that “I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft”. He has confidence that his mother will not reveal his scheme to Claudius. He doesn’t want Claudius to know his secret and so to enforce his trust he warns her that if she tells on him she will gain nothing from it and instead come to grief like the ape who “unpeg the basket on the house’s top.

Let the birds fly… to try conclusions in the basket creep and break your own neck down”. This scene also adds details to the character of Hamlet. When Hamlet kills Polonius it does not show him to be a person who is capable of really slow attack but rather as a person who is capable of impulsive action. As soon as he hears Polonius he instantly cries “Dead for a ducat, dead! ” This shows that he was going to kill without reconsidering.

Polonius hence proves to be important once again in the play by bringing out the true side of Hamlet – why even though he is prepared to attack he is not able to kill Claudius for revenge.

Even at the end of the play Hamlet shows the same kind of capacity for impulsive action because in the end the killing of Claudius is an impulsive act. This scene also brings out the complexity of Hamlet’s character. Even in this scene his state of mind is difficult to understand. Hamlet is a character who develops emotionally throughout the play but he is a difficult character to understand and evaluate because there are so many sides to his complex character and each of these sides are only partially revealed at different sides.

One characteristic that displays his varying mood is the contrast between Hamlet’s faked madness and his “mad in craft”. It is very hard for anybody to actually state whether Hamlet is pretending or is really mad at any point of time. Hence he again manages to frustrate any attempt to reduce him to a tidy analysis making him a very interesting character. The audience can relate to Hamlet in this scene as any human being put in such a situation would not be able to define himself as mad or not.

Hamlet’s true insanity is brought out in Act 5 Scene 1 where he is informed of Ophelia’s death. His unbalanced state of mind causes him to pick up a fight with Laertes in a mourning ground. Another debate in this scene is aroused by his persistence in saving his mother from the so-called addition that she has for Claudius – the argument between whether Hamlet is suffering from Oedipus complex or not. This again contributes to the complexity of Hamlet’s character.

He “speak[s] daggers to her” in order to shame her into admitting her mistakes and joining his side which suggests that he suffers from Oedipus complex. Then again, he could just be advising her so that he could establish that bond between his father and mother so that Gertrude would not fall into the incestuous sin. He “do[es] not [want his mother to] spread the compost on the weeds to make them ranker. ” I feel Act 3 Scene 4 is really one of the most important scenes which builds up the plot of this tragedy.

Had Polonius not have been murdered, Ophelia and Laertes would never have been involved in the plot and so Claudius would have been unsuccessful in his evil scheme to kill Hamlet. The complexity of Hamlet’s character and the addition of characteristics also make this scene important. The complexity of his character is what makes him interesting and this also allows the audience to relate to him. The mother-son conflict and rejoining also seasons the play as this makes the scene a very important climax of the play.

Shakespeare’s use of language adds variety to the play and also keeps Hamlet’s description of his words as daggers to one’s heart true. In more simpler terms, Hamlet would have been a big failure if Act 3 Scene 4 was omitted. Prince Hamlet would not have been so complex without this scene and so he would not be as interesting as he would be now. This is probably why Shakespeare’s play still stands the test of time making him one of the most famous playwrights ever recorded in history.

Read more