To further characterise Hamlet one must take into fact the ideas of conflict between religion and faith with honour and duty. This is shown through Hamlet’s ability to contradict his own decisions without realising it. An example of this is when he says “His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter. O God, God,” in this he is referring to suicide, which is seen as a blasphemous action to partake and thus forbidden from doing so. The repetition of “God” creates the feeling of desperation in Hamlet, thus enforcing the view that he is dismal. In contradiction to his prior decision to not practise blasphemy, Hamlet vows to avenge his father in act one scene five, “May sweep to my revenge” which immediately tells us he puts honour and duty before his religious obligations. In doing so Hamlet is portrayed as a weak minded individual who is easily swayed by the wants and requests of others. Alternatively, it can be suggested that Hamlet is an honourable man as it is possible he turned down suicide in order to follow through with his suspicions of Claudius and fulfil his duties as the son of a murdered king. In order to have done this Hamlet must have reconciled his doubt and self-loathing during Act V “Alexander has died, Alexander was buried, Alexander retuneth to dust.” thus enabling Hamlet’s development as a character through reflection of the Christian message.
It is clear to see that Hamlet is a confused individual who has been greatly affected by the events in his life that led him up to the point where he has to usurp a role that is clearly unfit for him. It can be suggested that Hamlet is a grown man and should be able to deal with such issues without being held back or put into danger by hasty and naïve decisions. This relates to the idea that he should be fully aware of the fate he has devoted himself to, as he is an actor with the full knowledge of the story of the tragic hero.
To conclude, the characterization of Hamlet in relation to the enduring power of Shakespeare’s play is an understanding of the complexities of the character. Not only does Hamlet represent an ordinary man who wants revenge but also a man struggling to survive with a fatal flaw – procrastination over action. It is evident that throughout the progression of the play of “Hamlet” the character, Hamlet deals with many difficulties which both ultimately lead to his progression throughout the play and unfortunately his demise.
Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
This is an excellent essay which shows a very good understanding of the text and context. The writer uses well selected quotes and generally integrates these effectively. The essay makes a number of different, well developed points. *****