• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An analysis of the characters in Hamlet

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Praveen Ravi Hamlet by William Shakespeare has been considered by many critics as one of the best plays in English literature. It has also been considered as one of the best tragedies among the many Shakespeare wrote. It is a story which revolves around this person called Hamlet, prince of Denmark. It is set in the Elizabethan times in the 16th century. It is a tragedy because it results in the deaths of many characters either accidentally or purposefully or forcefully. They all revolve around Hamlet's actions and thoughts and the deaths, either directly or indirectly are a consequence of his actions. Each character in Hamlet is important and deserves a great deal of attention. The aim of this piece of work aims to give a description of the main characters in Hamlet and some of the roles and functions they had to play. It also hopes to give the reader an understanding of the play by trying to explain the roles of the characters. As Shakespeare himself said "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages The characters that we will be looking at are - The Ghost, Claudius, Polonius, Gertrude, Laertes, Ophelia, Fortinbras, Rosencratz and Guildernsten, Horatio and Hamlet. ...read more.

Middle

He calls Hamlet as a young man who was still inexperienced about all these affairs of the heart. She should not take his proposals seriously. He also forbids her to go easily to Hamlet when he called her. She should go only when he commands her to. Polonius also highlights their social differences. Hamlet was from the royalty while she was the daughter of on official. In short, she wasn't worthy of marrying Hamlet. Polonius then plays a dubious and unpredictable role. He sends a messenger of his to France to spy on his own son Laertes. He does this to find out about his son's behaviour in Paris; whether he went to work properly or shirked work; whether he had good habits or roamed around drinking alcohol and drabbling with women. It is basically to see if Laertes had paid any heed to his advices which Polonius had imparted to him before he left for France. The advice to Ophelia and spying tells us something about Polonius's character as a father. It shows us that he is over protective. He wants to keep his children away from any vices or harm. But it also shows the lack of trust he has on his children. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Hamlet, acting mad, enters Ophelia's room and grabs her, she reports the whole incident to here father. When Polonius suggest to her that he and the king will spy on her and Hamlet together, she agrees without one word of opposition. Ophelia's death remains a mystery. When Hamlet is banished to England, she becomes insane herself with untold grief. She slips down from a branch into a well. Whether it really was an accident or suicide remains a mystery. Ophelia has some beautiful phrases to say. When she sees that Hamlet is mad, her description of a noble soul gone mad in Act3, Scene1 "O what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!...." is very beautiful. 7. Fortinbras - Fortinbras is the king of Norway. He and his father share the same name. Fortinbras sr. was killed by Hamlet sr. in a battle. For that, young Fortinbras seeks revenge. He makes lots of preparations for war. Fortinbras is not mentioned much. His role is to give an account of the present situation on Denmark, a defence against his forthcoming invasion. He also gives an account of the future of Denmark after Hamlet's death. Hamlet, almost dead, announces Fortinbras as the king of Denmark. Fortinbras has a fine speech to say in the end "Let four captains bear Hamlet...." by which he gives Hamlet, a mark of respect by giving him a proper burial. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Critical review of 'Hamlet'

    This does not draw the conclusion he was mad at any stage and therefore proving that the character of Hamlet does not change in that such way. Any drastic change that is observed is a different perception of Hamlet by the audience for example they become more sympathetic due to the writing of 'Hamlet' by learning more about him.

  2. Scene by Scene - Hamlet.

    (Denmark is on the invasion route from Norway to Poland if the Norwegian army is to cross the sea to Denmark. And we know a sea-invasion was expected from the amount of shipbuilding mentioned in I.i.) This all seems fake and for show, and probably Claudius (who doesn't seem at all surprised)

  1. Comparing the revengers Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet.

    (Lines 56-59). Hamlet is questioning himself and most importantly his actions, why has he just let things go? He knows he has had the opportunities, especially in Act III Scene III where he is in the position to kill Claudius.

  2. A Study of Shakespeare's presentation of Ophelia and the effect on her, of her ...

    Hamlet "Do you think I meant country matters?" Here Hamlet is insinuating sex, however, he acts as if he is the innocent party, and it is in fact Ophelia who has the corrupt and sordid mind. It is clear that Hamlet perceives Ophelia as a whore, contradictory to his letter in Act 2 scene 2.

  1. How does Shakespeare present and use the characters of Laertes and Fortinbras to compare ...

    Hamlet fears his own fate, knowing he will go to hell and ironically Claudius will go to heaven "Then trip him that his heels may kick at heaven". Hamlet defers action until his own procrastination disgusts him into acting "And spur my dull revenge!

  2. In Act two, everyone notices a change in Hamlet because he has began his ...

    When he is talking to his mother, he tells her of his "antic disposition" but then procedes to yell at her. This behavior is entirely inconsistent with Hamlet's supposed great love fore his mother. Some scholars have even suggested that he was suffering from an Oedipus complex.

  1. Discussing Hamlet.

    The poet Hamlet uses personification to express his disgust to womankind in general: "Frailty thy name is woman!". This disgust in women is what I believe caused Hamlet's bitter rejection for Ophelia, not because Hamlet is insensitive, but because his fragile sensitivity was taken advantage of and bruised.

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    of our nature may be assumed from the fact, that Hamlet has been the darling of every country in which the literature of England has been fostered. In order to understand him, it is essential that we should reflect on the constitution of our own minds.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work