Hamlet 3 extracts

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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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posted:5/18/2012
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