In “Hamlet” byWilliam Shakespeare, Hamlet experienced acts of betrayal by individuals in his inner circle and reciprocated with acts of revenge which ultimately resulted in his his death. In the novel, Hamlet, the main character was portrayed as an intelligent university student who returned home to attend his father’s funeral. The first incident of betrayal Hamlet experienced occurred when Claudius, Hamlet's uncle/stepfather /King, killed his father and took control effectively robbing Hamlet of the crown and the chance to be King. Hamlet adored his father and was devastated when his mother, Gertrude, had an incestuous relationship with his uncle who she married so quickly after his father’s death that ..the funeral baked meats…did furnish forth the marriage tables. 1.2.184-185.
Hamlet also knew that he could not go around telling people that Claudius killed his father just because a ghost told him so. Therefore, instead Hamlet masterminded a plan that made the King, Claudius, show his guilt and then he would have proof that Claudius did in fact kill his father. Hamlet's obsession with his mother's remarriage to his uncle contributes to his insanity. In numerous occasions, Hamlet will make a comment about the little time that it took for his mother to move into his uncle's bed. Sarcastically, Hamlet states, "What should a man do but be merry?
This may be why he has such a difficult time getting along with women. When Hamlet’s father passed away, Gertrude (Hamlet’s Mother) didn’t even dwell on the fact that her husband had just passed away. She went along and hooked up with her dead husband’s brother. Hamlet becomes furious about this happening and loses all respect for
Webster’s dictionary defines tragedy as, “a serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force (such as destiny) and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that excites pity or terror.” A tragic hero, therefore, is the character who experiences such a conflict and suffers catastrophically as a result of his choices and related actions. The character of Hamlet, therefore, is a clear representation of Shakespeare’s tragic hero. As the play’s tragic hero, Hamlet exhibits a combination of good and bad traits. A complex character, he displays a variety of characteristics throughout the play’s development. When he is first introduced in Act I- Scene 2, one sees Hamlet as a sensitive young prince who is mourning the death of his father, the King.
Soon after, the young prince is visited by a ghost that resembled the appearance of his dead past father. To increase confusion on Hamlet’s situation even more, the ghost gives details about the truth of King Hamlet’s death; the King was murdered by Claudius while asleep. Because of this and other similar factors, like betrayal, Hamlet began to fall down into a sense of insanity. Throughout William Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, indication of Prince Hamlet’s true madness is seen in his feelings of abandonment and betrayal from the relationships he has with his family and friends, the unstable emotions and thoughts of avenging his father’s “unnatural” murder, and the unbelievable appearance and meeting of the presumably ghost of former king of Denmark Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet. The character of Hamlet has
The death of one’s father and a ghostly visitation thereafter are events that would challenge the sanity of anyone. The circumstances of King Hamlet’s death render it especially traumatic. The late King seemed to be an idol to his son; Hamlet looked up to him and aspired to have the same qualities. Hamlet doesn't like King Claudius and sees him as a swindling usurper who has stolen not only the dead King’s throne, but Hamlet’s as well(2.4). Hamlet shows Gertrude that she has lowered her standards by marrying Claudius, When he refers to old Hamlet as, “A combination and a form indeed / Where every god did seem to set his seal” (3.4.55-61).
Hamlet also knew that he could not tell anyone that Claudius has murdered his father or that he had seen the ghost of his father because no one would believe him. Throughout the play Hamlet expresses his “madness” an example would be when he meets Ophelia in the court. In the beginning of their conversation he tells her that he once loved her but then is also confused saying that he didn’t love her at all. This is due to the fact that he sees woman as deceivers because of his mother’s relationship with his uncle. When Hamlet discovers that Polonius and the King are hiding nearby he explodes in a fit of rage, violently attacking her verbally and physically almost like a mad person would.
The ghost informed Hamlet that he had been killed by Sir King Claudius and that Claudius was, in fact, Hamlet's uncle. From there, the ghost only asked for one thing and one thing only, and all the deceased king requested was revenge from his son. Taking in all this information, wanting to avenge his father's death, and wanting to do as his father asks causes Hamlet to do many crazy things, including pretending to have lost his sanity. This causes many deaths in the story during Hamlet's journey to revenge. One of which was Polonious, who was stabbed by Hamlet during Hamlets rant to his mother.
Hamlet doesn’t know what he is doing in his life because he can’t act upon his father’s murder. King Claudius kills Hamlet’s father, so Hamlet is in a confused as to how he will get revenge. He wants to do what it takes to avenge his father’s death. "Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder," demands the ghost in (Act I, scene 5, line 23). The ghost tells hamlet he needs to kill King Claudius but Hamlet is to busy consumed in all the problems he has, that he doesn’t act at the right time.
This plan backfires though, because his family and friends bend over backwards to find the cause of his madness. Every main character in Hamlet seems to have their own conjectures as to why Hamlet is acting so out of character. One obvious reason is the mourning of his father's death. In addition to this, though, they all have personal ideas of varying merit. Claudius thinks that Hamlet has some kind of secret cause for the sudden change in his personality.