• 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'

    It is not such a cowardly and procrastinating personality that forbids him action but thoughtful and bitter, that he wants true suffering. Therefore I would argue he isn't suicidal. By the same admission I would say Hamlet is perfectly sane because he deals with deaths, murders, a new family, loss

  2. Scene by Scene - Hamlet.

    It's obvious that Hamlet's excitement is comic, and the scene is funny. Hamlet calls the ghost "boy", "truepenny", and "old mole", and says to his friends, "You hear this fellow in the cellarage." It seems to me that Shakespeare is parodying the older play, and even making fun of the

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

    Polonius simply became a casualty in the more important plot to avenge the former King. The only justice available for Polonius seems to be left to Laertes who has also lost his sister. She too is a victim of Claudius' corruption but Laertes has only Hamlet to blame for both deaths.

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

    Shakespeare portrays them as adopting the assumption of their own superiority, reflective of the period. However, Laertes, and especially Polonius, are exceptionally distant and unresponsive towards Ophelia, and Shakespeare's presentation of Ophelia makes her particularly receptive to the hierarchical society of the Elizabethan period.

  1. Comparing the revengers Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet.

    Even after Hamlet is sure beyond any doubts that Claudius is the murderer, he hesitates to kill him. Fortinbras, on the other hand, has been taking action even before the play begins. When the play does begin we learn that Demark is in a state of alert.

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

    We don't see much of Fortinbras in the play, but he is never dishonourable. Fortinbras in certainly a telling contrast to Hamlet's comparative inertia. Hamlet is private with his grief for Old Hamlet, but the audience is made aware of his suffering, with which we sympathise "But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue".

  1. Discussing Hamlet.

    After the internal insight of depression and woe in Hamlet, we see the reason behind his piteous state- that cannot be due to Claudius killing his father because he doesn't yet know that! It is in equal measure the death of his beloved father, and the revulsion of Claudius' and Gertrude's hasty marriage into "incestuous sheets".

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    He plays the madman most, when he treats Ophelia with so much rudeness, which seems to be useless and wanton cruelty. Hamlet is, through the whole play, rather an instrument than an agent. After he has, by the stratagem of the play, convicted the King, he makes no attempt to

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