Hamlet is a work represented as the usual repertoire of the company of Lord Chamberlain’s men since 1594. However, some references indicate that Shakespeare had already sketched a first text on Hamlet, between 1588-1589, apparently no more interesting than the later work that we now enjoy, which is commonly referred to as the Ur-Hamlet. It is often cited, the mockery made by the public about the shrill scream that the Spectrum launched «Hamlet! Revenge! ‘, Played by Shakespeare himself as an actor. Therefore, the work that we now know, captured between 1600-1601, is considered a much-improved revision of the previous one.
The chronicler Saxo Grammaticus is also referred to Hamlet, in his text Danish History, written in Latin in the twelfth century. Later, it was reproduced in France by Belforest in 1570, Shakespeare being able to draw inspiration from this source, although it is unlikely that he would read directly the work of Saxo Grammaticus. Nor does it seem very likely that W. Shakespeare supported himself to build his Hamlet in a play of revenge by Thomas Kyd, entitled The Spanish Tragedy, but the reverse. Marlowe, great inspiration of Shakespeare, died in a brawl in 1593, therefore, Shakespeare produced by himself such a remarkable work in the first months of the seventeenth century, as has been said.
Hamlet is an unhappy character, who feels unsuccessful. He does not feel satisfied with the events that occurred, nor with himself. It is marked by pain, although it is not let down by it, because it externalizes it with words. Perhaps for this reason, Hamlet embodies melancholy and doubt.Hamlet, at least in the first four acts of the play, is a changing character, who never adopts a concrete and definitive position, who does not allow himself to be pigeonholed. Perhaps, some critics tell us, those are the features of the first note on Hamlet, almost ten years before the definitive one, a taciturn character, exaggeratedly melancholic, until the most mature Hamlet of Act V appears, probably revised later.He has no faith in the high, he is not a believer. He does not feel pity or remorse for killing Polonius, nor for projecting Ophelia to suicide, nor for provoking Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern. He seems unable to feel love for anyone, not even Ophelia, because the distant attitude with her could not be justified only with his feigned madness.However, he is a character that is characterized by having a developed conscience, always alert, knowing that he can be betrayed and that his lucidity and attention depends not only on his life, but also on the possibility of unmasking his father’s murderer. This quality is often confused with hesitation or melancholy. But it is prudence, caution and patience, to avoid precipitation.
Hamlet is a charismatic character who embodies the value of personality but passes in turn as hero and villain. He is a character endowed by Shakespeare with a psychological world, humanly contradictory and changing. A character that possesses the antithetic virtues: he thinks too much but cannot decide, proposing the typical struggle between the rational and the action; he is kind, but in turn he causes death around him without hesitation or remorse; he is patient and exalted at the same time; revolutionary and submissive; unable to love and on the other hand reverence the figure of the father.Hamlet, as a tragic character, enters the wheel of destiny and fatality, however, today it is admitted that he is a character who freely decides his way of acting. He is not driven by doom, nothing forced him to return to Denmark after being sent to England; he could forget the treachery of his uncle Claudio and the insult of his mother. But Hamlet needs justice and truth and, by taking this step, freely assumes its consequences.