Essay, Research Paper: Hamlet Play

Shakespeare: Hamlet

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The Play Hamlet by William Shakespeare is arguably his finest tragedy ever
written. The characterizations of the cast are odd shaped pieces that fit
perfectly in this puzzle of confusion and anger. The contrasts and comparisons
between and within the characters paint a colorful picture of tragedy and
betrayal. Three characters that display intricate characteristics are Polonius,
King Claudius, and Hamlet. Polonius is a confused man filled with nothingness.
He is just a shell of a person who will agree with those who overpower him. His
mind is disillusioned and distraught. Throughout the play, until he is killed,
he believes that Hamlet is acting crazy because Hamlet loves Ophelia, Polonius'
daughter. "This is the very ecstasy of love…As oft as any passion under
heaven That does afflict our natures." It is these characteristics that
lead him to his death. Following orders by the king, Polonius hides behind a
curtain to spy on Hamlet. Unfortunately, Polonius spoke at the wrong time and is
killed for spying. Polonius was just a pawn that meant nothing. "Thou
wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!" King Claudius is a conniving
man. He is the brother of the previous king, King Hamlet. Claudius' devious mind
and horrible actions were the cause of King Hamlet's death. "…With juice
of crushed hebona in a vial And in the porches of [King Hamlet's] ears did
pour…." However his stone cold mind frame soon melted to fright as he saw
a reenactment of his action in a play put forth by Hamlet, the son of King
Hamlet. "Give me some light. Away!" Soon after, Claudius' devious mind
began working again to plot Hamlet's death. Backfiring with his plan, he quickly
picks up where he left off with another scheme to eliminate Hamlet. Leartes, the
son of Polonius, whom was killed by Hamlet, comes to their land. Claudius relays
the bad news and gets Leartes to vow vengeance. Through all of the scheming and
treachery, The king's true face is shown and is killed. Hamlet is a clever and
intelligent man; however, in every tragedy there must be a tragic hero, and
Hamlet is the tragic hero. Confused about his father's mysterious death, Hamlet
is trying to find some answers. Surprisingly, those answers came from a ghost.
It was the Ghost of his father. Being a religious man, Hamlet was weary about
the validity of the ghosts claims that Claudius killed Hamlet's father. Hamlet
had a witty plan to put on a play depicting his father's death in front of King
Claudius. With King Claudius reaction, Hamlet knew that his father was murdered,
and began thinking of ways to avenge his father's death. Being slightly devious
himself, Hamlet planned to catch Claudius in his own treacherous web. He could
not just run him through at that time because of his religious beliefs. However,
his part as the tragic hero kicked in and died soon after killing Claudius.
"O, I die, Horatio! The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit."
Overall, Hamlet was an ideal tragedy. What made it ideal was the characteristics
of the characters and the way that they all became intertwined throughout the
play. Hamlet was the strongest character, mentally and ethically. Although
Hamlet did not come out on top, he completed his life's work and is in a better
place.
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