Hamlet's Strengths And Weaknesses

Better Essays
Hamlet is William Shakespeare 's renowned tale of mystery, intrigue, and murder, centered on a young misguided prince who can only trust himself. Some may say that the actions of Prince Hamlet throughout the play are weak and fearful, displaying a tendency to procrastinate and showing an apathetic nature towards his family and peers. Others spin a tale of a noble young scholar, driven mad by the cold-blooded murder of his father by his uncle. In truth, I believe Hamlet is neither of these things. Hamlet is a sort of amalgamation of the two, a bundle of contradictions thrown together into one conflicting but very human mess of a character. The quote, "We admire Hamlet as much for his weaknesses as for his strengths", aptly describes my feelings…show more content…
This is much more difficult to admire him for. Hamlet spends so much of his time wishing for death that it is almost inevitable that he would die at the end of the play. If he had not been poisoned in his bout with Laertes, he would likely have killed himself afterwards. His fixation with dying and what comes after ("O! that this too too solid flesh would melt") is disturbing- it shows us the unsettled and broken man the young prince has become, and the instability of his mind. However, it also calls out to those of us who have experienced the same dark thoughts as Prince Hamlet. It is not uncommon to wonder about life after death and the existence of a God, but his suicidal thoughts call out to a smaller audience- those who have faced the same struggles Hamlet does, and this shows us the darker but more human side of the prince in a different light.The members of this group see themselves in his soliloquys and relate to his constant fear and delight at the idea of death. The existential crisis the young prince suffers throughout the course of the play can also raise many questions for the audience, as well as for Hamlet. As we analyse the play more closely it is more likely that we will try to answer some of the questions Hamlet asks in his soliloquys ("For in that sleep of death what dreams may come", "For who would bear the whips and scorns of time... When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin?")…show more content…
He instructs the travelling players on how to perform their piece, writes "some dozen or sixteen lines" to be inserted into 'The Murder of Gonzago ', and puts on an antic disposition in order to "catch the conscience of the king". The strength of his skill aids him greatly, allowing him to act as he pleases in the court and therefore discover everything he needs to about the death of his father. He acts insane, tricking everyone around him into believing his madness, all the while spying and plotting to kill the usurper. This causes Hamlet to become suspicious of everyone around him however. The only person he can trust seems to be Horatio, and even then he sometimes acts harsh, only rarely letting Horatio speak a few words before launching into a grand speech. This talent Hamlet has for acting invokes a great deal of interest and admiration in his audience. This is a double-edged blade; Hamlet 's tremendous skill cannot be contained. He is constantly secretive and there is always more to learn about him. Even as he dies, there is so much we cannot understand about his personality. We admire Hamlet because he is an enigma. Humans are attracted to mystery and Hamlet is the ultimate puzzle. Was he ever in love with Ophelia? Did he truly believe the Ghost 's words in Act 1? We will never understand Hamlet 's mind and this is perhaps the thing I admire most about him. To keep that much of yourself a secret
Get Access