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Hamlet Close Analysis- 3 extracts Act 1 scene 2 (lines 64-86), Act 1 scene 5 (lines 9-46) And Act 5 scene 2 (lines 63-79) Shakespeare uses various events in the play to alter the course and nature of the character Hamlet. Following the death of his father, Hamlet’s melancholy nature grants the concern of his mother and uncle. Hamlet despises how quickly his mother remarried and is criticised for his prolonged mourning for his father. His resent for his uncle is warranted after the visit from his father’s ghost, which plants the seed of revenge in Hamlet’s vulnerable mind. After the death of his beloved Ophelia, Hamlet finally resolves to kill King Claudius, declaring an end to his pathetic procrastinating. Hamlet’s character endures significant changes as he struggles to deal with the situations around him, often leading him to make hasty and unjustified conclusions. Claudius has just finished his public address to the court as the new King of Denmark when he assesses the countenance of Prince Hamlet. Shakespeare uses the words ‘cousin and ‘son’ (ll.64) not to convey Claudius’ love or affection, but to taunt Hamlet and remind him of the position Claudius now holds in his life. Hamlet degrades his affectionate terms and rejects any form of closeness to Claudius. His love for his mother complicates his disposition and she takes advantage of this by encouraging Hamlet to accept the new father figure in his life, ‘And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark’ (ll.69). The question of Hamlet’s sanity is a major theme in Shakespeare’s play and is evident in the appearance of King Hamlet’s ghost. Hamlet’s curiosity prevails and he goes on search of his father’s ghost, which is concerning considering the frail state of his mind. Hamlet is searching for answers to his father’s death and when informed of the murder he promises to take revenge, ‘sweep to my revenge’ (ll.31). Hamlet admires and respects his father, which blinds him to the obscurity of his claims and demands. His loyalty will be the cause of future anguish and despair. In scene 2 of Act 5, Hamlet finally resolves to kill Claudius. He admits to the brief digression of his attention to Laertes, ‘that to Laertes I forgot myself’ (ll.76), however he realises that Claudius is responsible for all the recent atrocities in Denmark. Hamlet relates to Laertes as a fellow revenger, once again returning to the theme of revenge. Ophelia’s death is the epiphany of his actions; he finally appreciates the absurdity and the consequences of the games he has been playing. After all his deviating, this scene depicts the change in Hamlet’s character as he is once again focussed on the original mission of avenging his father. As he is emotionally unstable, Hamlet’s character is prone to diversions and irrational decision making. The sighting of his father’s ghost provides the blueprint for the rest of the play, justifying Hamlet’s already established hatred for his beloved mother’s new husband. However Hamlet’s procrastinating nature leads him on a tangible path of destruction, before Ophelia’s death pulls him somewhat back into reality and his focus on to Claudius.
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