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Summary: the Prince of Denmark as an Impulsive Character of the Play

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In the play Hamlet that is written by William Shakespeare, tragedy is shown throughout as people spiral towards their inevitable downfalls, as well as potentially leading the profoundly intriguing characters to wind up in the depths of destruction and even in death in certain occurrences. Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, was an indecisive yet impulsive character who increasingly became more depressed and angered by everyone and everything around him the longer he dwelled on situations. 

At certain points, all characters experience a sort of uncertainty as to what will happen in the near future, as society was drastically different then than it is today and the majority of the characters actions are generally unpredictable to one another. Hamlet is a physical embodiment of a victim of circumstance through having multiple loved ones die unexpectedly, had been given the task of avenging his father’s wrongful death, and by having cunning people around him secretly taking action that would result in Hamlet living in an atrocious life. Hamlet is shown becoming a victim of circumstance when the people he holds dearest to him, die slowly throughout the play. When death arises and comes into one’s life, many people interpret and cope with this newfound reality in different ways. All of which have one thing in common, sadness. Hamlet primarily expresses his sorrows of his father’s death saying: “O, that this too too sallied flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into dew, or that the everlasting had not fixed his cannon ‘gainst self-slaughter. O God, God, how weary, stale, flat and unprofitable seem to me all the uses if the world,”. This implies he no longer sees the point of living, no longer sees the meaning of life in which everybody is prophesied to serve a purpose for their existence. Ophelia, on the other hand, had committed suicide due to feeling as if she was in a choice-less existence she could not get out of. Between having both her father Polonius, and her brother Laertes wanting her to follow their rather strict instructions, and not understanding what had been causing Hamlet to go mad, she felt trapped and felt as if there was no better alternative than to drown in a river. In addition to this, Hamlet‘s mother, Gertrude, had died drinking the goblet intended for Hamlet unaware of the poison in it. This further deepened Hamlet’s sadness as he loved them profoundly.

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 Throughout the play, the King’s ghost is a vital character participating in the drama; He is seen projecting several functions continuously throughout the duration of the play. Old Hamlet’s ghost was first introduced on one late night in Denmark, as the guards were being changed from their battlements and had spotted him. They did not know if the supernatural presence could speak, therefore, brought him to the prince Hamlet. The ghost had claimed he was Hamlet’s father in spirit form, as he was trapped in purgatory since he was murdered and was not able to confess his sins before his passing. He wanted to acquire revenge, but since he had no physical form, he could not necessarily do much rather than live vicariously through somebody else. Therefore, he mentioned to Hamlet that it was up to him to avenge his death by killing his murderer, Claudius. Old Hamlet’s ghost stated: “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder”. As he explained his undeserved murder to Hamlet, it is overall shown that Claudius is willing to sacrifice the well-being of others to be able to advance his own propositions and goals; Always seems to protect himself alongside his image no matter the severity of the wrongdoings he commits. Numerous things in life can be portrayed as an illusion at times, as everybody around you may not always say the truth, and things do not always seem to truly be what they are shown to be. This happened to be the case with the new king, Claudius. He is portrayed to be a two-sided character, as he is well-spoken and intelligent, while still being deceitful and disingenuous. To the people of Denmark, he seems to be a king who is reasonable and centered. Hamlet, on the other hand, knows him to be evil and very manipulative. Claudius was always seeking control and knowledge over many things in Denmark as he attended his kingdom’s affairs, yet continually gravitated his attention towards Hamlet and his actions. Hamlet, after being told by his father’s ghost to avenge his death, acted as if he were crazy. Claudius was suspicious of this, therefore, sent Polonius to spy on him while interacting with Ophelia. This confirmed to him that Hamlet was only putting up an act, and was not mad after all.

 As time went on, Claudius continued to feel increasingly guilty of his brother’s death, as he was aware Hamlet knew he was his murderer. Polonius continued to spy on Hamlet upon the king’s request from time to time, and on his last attempt, he was killed by Hamlet. Shortly after, Claudius learned who was responsible for his death. Being fed up with Hamlet, he summoned Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to ensure Hamlet went abroad a ship that would leave to England. Claudius claimed he was concerned over his nephew’s protection, although secretly had other plans for him as he stated to himself: And, England, if my love thou hold’st at aught—as my great power thereof may give thee sense, since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red after the danish sword, and thy free awe pays homage to us—thou mayst not coldly set our sovereign process, which imports at full by letters congruing to that effect the present death of Hamlet. Do it, England, for like the hectic in my blood he rages, and thou must cure me. Till I know ’tis done, howe’er my haps, my joys were ne’er begun.” This showed he no longer wanted to deal with Hamlet and wanted him dead, rather than to have him around on a daily basis.

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