Response To Hamlet

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How is your personal response to Hamlet shaped by interactions between characters throughout the play? My understanding of Hamlet has been greatly shaped by the interactions of the various characters in the play. Shakespeare in Hamlet provides the responder with various insights into his characters primarily through their relationship with Hamlet. These characters serve as vehicles for the essential concerns of humanity thus contributing to the textual integrity of the play. What is equally as important is how this has been achieved through Shakespeare’s command of various dramatic and language techniques. In Hamlet, Shakespeare mirrors Hamlet’s situation through his employment of Hamlet’s foils; Laertes and Fortinbras, effectively demonstrating…show more content…
Hamlet in his first soliloquy demonstrates his disgust that his mother has allied herself in love and in politics with her late husband’s brother, so soon after his death, “frailty, thy name is woman... to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets”. Claudius is clearly established as the villain in Hamlet, murdering his own brother and then plotting to kill Hamlet. He lies and is deceitful toying with the notion that the appearance of things is not their reality. The audience is privy to the ‘reality’ of Claudius ‘deed’, and of his guilt, through an aside, climactically stating, “then is my deed to my most painted word. O heavy burden!”. His hypocrisy and corrupt nature is demonstrated when he speaks to Laertes, through irony, “There’s such divinity doth hedge a king”, as God did not protect old Hamlet from being murdered by Claudius. Despite this Claudius is not utterly evil; he does love Gertrude and recognises that his “offense is rank ... smells to the heavens”. Claudius unlike Hamlet manages to manipulate fortune and take what he wants (the throne, and Gertrude), the end result justifying his means. Polonius effectively demonstrates notions of corruption throughout the play. As Polonius himself is corrupt and false he cannot think of others as genuine. In Act 1, Scene 3, Polonius interferes with his daughter’s relationship with Hamlet - doubt’s Hamlet’s integrity, sincerity and affection for Ophelia, “Do not believe his vows” Polonius elucidates his corruption and falsity at the very beginning of Act 2, when he gives Reynaldo money to spy on his own son Laertes’ behaviour in Paris, through devious and indirect methods such as lies, “Inquire... and there put on him what forgeries you please”. Shakespeare’s examination of corruption through the interaction and relationships apparent between Hamlet and Gertrude,

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