Free «Hamlet is the Longest Play written by William Shakespeare» Essay Sample
Hamlet is the longest play written by William Shakespeare; the story is set up in the kingdom of Denmark and consists of tragedies caused by vengeance. The play tells a story of prince hamlet who plots revenge on his uncle, Claudius for murdering his father, king hamlet who was the king, taking away his throne and inheriting his mother as his wife. The play starts by a revelation from a ghost believed to be king hamlet, and reveal to the prince that Claudius is behind his death and that he should seek revenge on his behalf. The play gaudily portrays overwhelming grief over the transpiring deaths and explores themes of incest, moral corruption, revenge, and treachery.
In Act III, hamlet who is the protagonists is not good as his character discredits him in people’s eyes. At first, hamlet seems to be the best character as he acts justly. He refuses to plan revenge against Claudius because he is uncertain of the ghost’s revelation. However, as the story progresses, his character changes and is perceived to be insane. His change in behavior does not work in his favor as he wanted; instead, Claudius declares him insane and sends him to England. However, he uses Ophelia and the love they share to manipulate the court’s decision; thus using her to avenge his father’s death. In addition to this, hamlet’s behavior is among the questionable actions in the play.
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His treatment towards Ophelia is unfair. He claims to have loved her once, but he no longer loves her. Based on his gifts and letters, it is evident that he once loved Ophelia, but due to some overwhelming desire to become his late father’s mouthpiece, he destroys Ophelia by unimaginable awful words. He is disgusted by his traitorous mother and pours it on Ophelia. Hamlet no longer trusts Ophelia, and she is more loyal to Claudius and Polonius more than to him. He heartlessly mistreats Ophelia; he hates her one minute and demands sexual intimacy the other minute. This is unfair to Ophelia considering that she went ahead to get involved with hamlet despite being warned by her sister, Laertes. By this, she is caught up between hamlet and Polonius.
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He believes that his mother betrayed his father because it had only been a month after his father’s death, and Gertrude, her mother had already married Claudius. For this reason, he hates women and bursts into anger painting them with a dreadful outlook. He quotes, “Get thee to a nunnery”. He believes that this is the only way to keep her from getting children who are considered breeders of sin.
Prince Hamlet’s character is controversial as he is unpredictable. To begin with, he does not trust easily especially after the death of his father. The prince does not believe the confession of the ghost that is said to be his father. By this, he organizes a play to test the guilt of Claudius just to confirm the allegations. In addition, he acts wisely and takes time to plot his mission against his enemies. It is for this reason that he does kill Claudius even after confirming that he killed his father; he thinks that killing him while praying would not be enough punish as he would go to heaven where he does not belong. According to hamlet, going to hell is the best punishment that he deserves for killing his father, taking over his throne and marrying his mother.
It is evident that Hamlet’s character develops as the play progresses. For this, the audience sees his different sides in terms of his character. Delaying the revenge plot is Shakespeare’s styles of developing a longer narrative that will give the audience a different view point if the protagonist. Using the fragile and innocent Ophelia as an outlet for the disgust he has for his mother makes him look bad.
Hamlet is arguably the greatest dramatic character in the play. When he finally dies, his qualities leave imprints in the audiences’ minds; he remains the hero who accomplishes his mission.