Essay Who is Hamlet in Hamlet?

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Who is Hamlet in Hamlet?

Hamlet in Shakespeare’s tragic drama Hamlet is a problematical character indeed. But the reader who approaches this hero with the proper point of view is far ahead of the reader who doesn’t. This essay hopes to properly interpret this most memorable of Shakespeare’s characters.

Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar in “Hamlet: A Man Who Thinks Before He Acts” describe precisely the perspective that a reader or viewer would find most helpful in solving the “Hamlet problem”:

Much of the vast literature on this play has concentrated on the interpretation of Hamlet’s character, particularly in attempting to explain his inability to take decisive action, his treatment of Ophelia, his madness, real or
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[. . .] The hour comes, and the ghost walks” (35). Horatio and Marcellus exit the ramparts of Elsinore intending to enlist the aid of Hamlet. There is a social gathering of the court, where Claudius pays tribute to the memory of his deceased brother, the former king, and then conducts some items of business. Hamlet is there dressed in black, the color of mourning, for his deceased father. His first words say that Claudius is "A little more than kin and less than kind," indicating a dissimilarity in values between the new king and himself. Even before the apparition of the ghost, Hamlet has a very sour relationship with his uncle and stepfather, Claudius. Marchette Chute in “The Story Told in Hamlet” says that the hero “throws him one brief sentence and then addresses all his remarks to his mother [. . .] . (35-36). Hamlet’s first soliloquy makes reference to his mother’s hasty and incestuous marriage to her husband’s brother:

Frailty, thy name is woman!--

A little month, or ere those shoes were old

With which she follow'd my poor father's body,

Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--

O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,

Would have mourn'd

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