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An analysis of the characters in Hamlet

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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.

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