The play Hamlet by William Shakespeare is a realistic representation of the duality of human nature: one which makes the readers pause and observe the motivations of a resolute avenger who undergoes a metamorphosis of mental activity after his encounter with the ghost of his father but due to his conscience, he later becomes a procrastinator with a puzzled will. As a dramatist, William Shakespeare is famous for his character portrayals. If a character is too perfect, it is impossible for us to relate to him. Therefore, the titular protagonist, Hamlet is presented with all his foibles and blemishes which makes him a character who readers can easily relate to. Harold Bloom (1990) claimed that Shakespeare created a “human character.” Hamlet’s conflict about to kill or not to kill makes him relatable.
In act 2 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the prince expresses his disappointment with himself due to his lack of courage. “O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I,” (2.2.123) says Hamlet in his third soliloquy. He begins to question whether he has the strength to go through with his plans to kill the king. In this emotional speech Hamlet expresses his feeling that he is “a coward because he feels he has done nothing to take revenge on Claudius,” (Newell). This third soliloquy brings forth the theme of frustration in the play.
The cluelessness that is going on within his mind makes him lose his mental status, life and the love of his life. Hamlets actions are hypnotized by his thoughts: “Thus Conscience does make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pitch and moment, With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action” (3.1.85-90). Since Hamlet is not able to make up his own decisions he must take the orders from a ghost he meets which is the spirit of his father. Hamlet also knows he cannot make his decisions
Many tragic heroes holds pride as their primary cause to his downfall, but Hamlet’s hesitation throughout the play is his key weakness. During the play of The Murder of Gonzago schemed by Hamlet to confirm Claudius’s act of crime, himself was overwhelmed by self-contempt and guilt. Hamlet blames himself for just standing around cursing like a whore, and urges to seek revenge by heaven and hell. After the performance, Hamlet observes Claudius and found him guilty and prays for forgiveness. But Hamlet give up the good opportunity of killing Claudius because he hopes that his revenge for his father for a moral sake, not committing an impulsive revenge.
The ghost of his father leads him to contemplate murder; this is an emotional decision for him due to the apparent lack of evidence. Commanded by his father’s ghost to, “revenge his foul and most unnatural murder,” by his brother Claudius, who has robbed him of his wife and throne as well as his life. At this point, his inner turmoil has left him emotionally unavailable and completely disenchanted with humanity in general. Hamlet is so bent on doing it but swears that “with wings as swift/ As meditation, or the thoughts of love,’ he will ‘sweep to [his] revenge”, but keeps on the procrastination due to the voice of reason within him. These two sides within Hamlet offers a spectacle of conflict, that is, whether he wants to avenge his father’s murder or not.
“Thus conscience does make cowards of us all” (3.1.87) Hamlet is angry with himself that he has let his conscience come in the way. Hamlet was not only obsessed with his own conscience but the conscience of others as well. "The play's the thing, wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king." (2.2.617) Hamlet wants to know what king Claudius is thinking in terms of his conscience before Hamlet acts. Here, Hamlet is thinking with his conscience, instead of just killing Claudius like he wanted to do from the beginning, he needs to confirm the conscience of Claudius to convince his own conscience it is the right thing to do.
Throughout the play Hamlet uncovers horrible deeds his uncle has committed, which were “Remorseless, Treacherous, lecherous”. Hamlet wished to punish Gertrude but was prevented by his father’s ghost. In Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 3 scene 2, Hamlet will “speak daggers to her but use none” representing his future interactions with Gertrude. Shakespeare uses this metaphor to show Hamlet’s hatred towards his mother and to create tension. In Act 3 Scene 4, Hamlet reveals Claudius’ involvement in his father’s death to his mother, but she thinks Hamlet has turned into a madman.
Prince Hamlet’s inability to make crucial decisions ultimately leads to his tragic death, and that is what makes him a tragic hero. Prince Hamlet’s inability to act in dire situations is a tragic flaw that haunts him throughout the story. In one of the opening scenes, King Hamlet’s ghost tells his son to, “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (Shakespeare 25). This significant quote introduces the plot of the story as well as plants the seed of the internal conflict Prince Hamlet has yet to face. This quote also reveals Prince Hamlet’s feelings towards his father’s murder on top of the anger he has over his
In Hamlet that wrote by William Shakespeare. Prince Hamlet is an irresolute person who always falls in the choice between action and inaction, he fears about the possible unfairness of the afterlife, and his inability to act. Hamlet decline to take action against Claudius because he saw the King is praying for his guilt of murdering his brother. Hamlet feels a responsibility to avenge his father's murder by his uncle Claudius, but Claudius is now the king and thus well protected. Moreover, Hamlet struggles with his doubts about whether he can trust the ghost and whether killing Claudius is the appropriate thing to do.
In Macbeth’s speech while he is in deep thought on their plan to murder Duncan, Shakespeare uses metaphor to foreshadow their righteous mental demise. When Macbeth is hesitating whether or not he should assassinate Duncan, he was afraid that “We still have judgement here, that we but teach/ Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return/ To plague th’ inventor.” (1.7.8-10). The “inventor” was referring to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Macbeth is afraid that the “judgment” and “bloody instructions will hurt them. In these lines, Macbeth, driven by ambition, could not mollify himself of this immoral plan of Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare foreshadowed their suffering of guilt by mentioning the word “Blood” throughout the whole play after this point.