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Analysis of the Hamlet's Tragic Character and Its Significance

Uncover the significance of Hamlet's tragic character in Shakespeare's play. Analyze the tragedy of the protagonist and its underlying themes.

"Hamlet" is Shakespeare's most famous tragedy, which prominently reflects the author's humanism. 

Shakespeare said that his work is "a mirror for nature, for virtue to see its own face, for absurdity to see Take a look at your own posture, and show your own image and imprint to the times and society." 

"Hamlet" is just the epitome of an era. Hamlet is the ideal figure of Renaissance humanists. He is a prince, and according to tradition, he is a prince. The natural heir to the royal power. However, his bright future was reversed by the reversed times. 

At the beginning of the play, the author showed an ugly social picture: a palace coup took place in the country, the king was killed, and the conspirators stole the throne; the queen's Remarriage; all the courtiers are following the power, and so on. 

The world seems to be doomed. So this prince shouted, "The era is out of touch". People strongly feel that this is the "soul of the era" itself. 

An optimistic, ideal young man, under normal circumstances, can become a wise monarch; but real society forces him to pretend to be crazy and take revenge. He is the product of that particular turbulent era in England. 

In "Hamlet" "In this play, we can see everywhere the author's ingenuity in shaping the typical character in his mind into a heroic image: Hamlet is very scheming, and he dares to fight tit for tat when the enemy is strong and we are weak Breaking through all the traps set by the traitor king: First, it exposed the spying and monitoring tricks of Polonius and Rosenkram

But Hamlet is by no means a "perfect man". Although he is good at thinking, he is indecisive; although he is loved by the people, he does not believe in the people. 

He said: "The times have become more and more ugly, and a farmer's toes are so close A courtier’s heel scrapes the latter’s frostbite.” 

It can be seen that Hamlet’s social reform is far from the change required by the peasants. Although Hamlet has admirable talents and tries his best to replace the old with the new, he is always depressed. In indecision, he is always isolated. This is doomed to his tragic fate of perishing with the ugly.

"Hamlet" describes the character's psychological language as very rich, which is also very prominent in all of Shakespeare's tragedies. 

For example, most of Hamlet's characters It is expressed by "crazy words", and his "absurd words" are like sparks bursting out. 

Claudius's eccentric language reflects his ugly appearance. Polonius loves to use poetic language, which Gives a funny impression.

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A Brief Analysis of the Tragedy of the Protagonist in "Hamlet"

"Hamlet" is one of Shakespeare's "four tragedies". This shocking masterpiece has been handed down for more than 400 years since its birth. Although several centuries have passed, it still has an immeasurable impact on later generations.

As the saying goes, there will be a thousand Hamlets in the hearts of a thousand readers. The reason why Hamlet can become one of the most classic tragic representatives in the history of Western literature is mainly because of the complexity of his character.

The intertwining of contradictory personalities led to the final formation of his tragic fate, and these contradictory personalities also exist in everyone. Shakespeare's usual artistic techniques are vividly displayed in Hamlet.

Unlike his previous literary works, which clearly portray the good and evil of a character, but weave these contradictory personalities together, this is not only Shakespeare's brilliance but also more likely to cause conflicts as a complex of contradictions. deep thinking of people.

1. Tragedy in the character of Hamlet

1.1 Contradictions in Hamlet's Character

Hamlet takes revenge as the theme, takes the prince as the protagonist, and integrates the social contradictions in the background of the times into the story of the prince's revenge, which intensifies its own dramatic color.

In Shakespeare's pen, Hamlet is an advanced representative with strong humanistic thoughts in the Renaissance, and he is positioned as a prince, and the future will be the controller of the highest power in the country.

However, the world is impermanent, and this prince, who should have been carefree, is tortured physically and mentally by this contradictory era.

In the beginning, the author shows the readers a dark and chaotic social situation: the plotters in the palace secretly poison the king, steal the throne, and stir up the state's power, and everyone's reaction to this sudden conspiracy is even more chilling. The entanglements of human nature come alive on the paper.

The queen was flattered and offered to remarry, and the minister only wanted to protect himself, and no one would correct the crime for the country. In such chaotic scenes one after another, the prince instantly fell from heaven into the dark abyss of darkness.

Hamlet was originally an upright and kind successor, young and promising, if nothing happened, he would definitely become a wise leader of the country.

But the sudden palace incident forced him to pretend to be crazy and was forced to embark on the road of revenge. This was also the true epitome of the political turmoil in British society at that time.

The reality is full of difficulties, breaking his ideal time and time again, one accident after another, making him overwhelmed, and finally completely breaking his beautiful hope.

He is wise and brave but indecisive, and he is not a perfect person. Therefore, Hamlet will lead to the tragic ending of dying with his enemies.

His tragedy stems from his own contradictory personality. The over-idealization of humanism is vulnerable to the evil forces of reality, which is the root cause of the "contradictory" tragedy reflected in Hamlet.

1.2 Complexity in the character of Hamlet

In addition to the above-mentioned humanistic contradictions, the cause of the tragedy is also complicated. Hamlet is not only upright and kind in character, but also a promising young man who is good at thinking. He has blood and ideals in his arms and can show his talents in the future.

But because of a sudden coup, all the beautiful visions were shattered, and even he had to pretend to be crazy to live, let alone self-cultivation, governing the country and the world, all became empty talk.

He really hated this hypocritical world and the regime with no order, but he was helpless in the face of powerful evil forces, and the depression of this ambivalence made him miserable.

Under the double torment of pain and contradictions, he uttered the cry of life or death, forbearance or resistance countless times, but he was always on the verge of entanglement and could not make the final decision of revenge.

That's why Goethe commented on Hamlet's indecision, and some people said that he was full of ideals and emotions, and he needed to come out of his fantasy and put his ideals into practical action.

Just as the saying goes, there are a thousand Hamlets in the hearts of a thousand people. This complexity is reflected not only in his longing for a utopian life but also in his fear of the responsibilities he should bear after revenge. above.

1.3 Tragic colors in Hamlet's character

Tragedy can often leave a deeper impression on people, and it is difficult for some happy endings to leave readers with a deeper space for thinking and reverie.

The tragic ending is not to win the tears and regrets of the readers, but to resonate with the readers through the tortuous process of the beginning, development, and ending of the entire tragedy theme, and inspire readers to think deeper.

Hamlet's contradictory character and complicated life experience together constitute this tragic picture scroll, which is one of the most commonly used artistic techniques in Shakespeare's works.

The beginning of the story is also the beginning of the whole tragic and beautiful tone. Hamlet is the well-deserved successor of the future country . A consummate humanist.

But in the course of the day, all good things were destroyed. With the unfolding of the plot, the conspiracy of the coup d'état was uncovered step by step. All this prompted Hamlet to have the idea of revenge in his heart, and the tragic prelude was officially opened.

In order to complete revenge, Hamlet killed his sweetheart's father, abandoned his mother, and lived in self-blame and being misunderstood all day long.

Under such a setting, regardless of whether the revenge is successful or not, it is inevitable to go on a tragic path. From the moment he decides to take revenge, it is already a tragedy.

From a comprehensive analysis, the main reason for the tragic color of Hamlet's character is the elements that constitute this kind of conflict. The huge conflict between personal truth, goodness and beauty and social fake, ugly and evil, the tragic effect must be achieved through these conflicting elements. Positive The destruction of characters induces people's affirmation of truth, goodness and beauty and contempt for fake, ugly, and evil.

At the end of the story, Hamlet and the evil feudal forces perish together. Although the revenge has won, Hamlet also paid the price of his life for it.

The result of this tragedy is not pessimistic, but tragic. From this ending, readers can feel the brilliance of humanism in Hamlet. His silent death is infinite life. In the story Dead, but forever living in people's hearts, this is also the eternal vitality to be reflected in the story.

2. Concrete manifestations of Hamlet's contradictory character

2.1 Extraordinary wisdom and indecisive character

Hamlet was of noble birth, enjoying the supreme glory beyond the reach of ordinary people since he was born, and Hamlet has never been disappointed. The love of his parents, the support of the people, and his intelligence are all at his fingertips.

But since the death of the king's father, everything has changed drastically, and his mother soon married his uncle, who took his father's place as the new king.

Even though this regime turmoil had a huge impact on Hamlet's status in the court, Hamlet, who advocated humanism, did not think of revenge.

The event that really made him determined to take revenge was the truth of his father's death, the new king - his uncle personally poisoned his father, but he was calm and didn't reveal it, but continued to pretend he didn't know.

He is wise at the moment, he has not been dazzled by hatred, and he tries to avenge his father in his own way, but in the whole revenge process of Hamlet, he has many chances to kill Claudius, He also fully possesses this ability, but he is always indecisive and indecisive.

The root cause is Hamlet's cowardly character. On the one hand, he hates his mother's fickleness, but he can't let go of his attachment to her; on the other hand, he wants to kill Claudius, but he is afraid of taking on the subsequent responsibilities arising from it.

Hamlet didn't even dare to commit suicide because he was afraid of the world after death. These concerns are intertwined, and his extraordinary wisdom and indecisive character make this revenge full of complexity and conflict.

2.2 Firm determination for revenge and entangled warmth concerns

After embarking on the road of revenge, Hamlet is undoubtedly ruthless, but his own warm nature has never been annihilated. The intertwining of these two personalities also makes Hamlet's whole character more three-dimensional, real, and full of personality charm.

Hamlet has a firm determination to revenge. When he realizes that love will become a stumbling block on his road to revenge, he obviously loves his sweetheart Ophelia very much but kills Ophelia's father himself for revenge.

However, it was said that he was eager for revenge, and he was only one step away from revenge, but he fell into deep self-blame, saying that he was tender and caring, but he did such cruel acts to his sweetheart.

In addition to love, the emotional entanglements with his mother also show these two intertwined contradictory personalities to the fullest. After Hamlet decided to take revenge, he shouldn't have forgiven his flamboyant mother, but he couldn't let go of the warmth between him and his mother. Most of the indecision on the road stems from this.

The firm determination for revenge and the entangled tenderness and worries are intertwined, which deepens this contradiction and shows the tragic fate of Hamlet.

3. Analysis of the Causes of Hamlet's Contradictory Characters

3.1 Idealism

Shakespeare poured too much humanistic thought into Hamlet, causing him to be too obsessed with humanism and the overly idealized right and wrong as his moral principles for dealing with people, making him habitually use these standards to treat people. thing.

However, there are too many uncertain factors in real life, which makes it difficult for him to give full play to his overly idealized humanism, and some even have to become unrealistic utopias.

The beautiful ideal and the unbearable reality result in a great change in Hamlet's personality and psychology, and his tragic life also unfolded from this.

3.2 Self-analysis

Hamlet's confusion is mostly due to the ruthless analysis of himself. Whenever Hamlet realizes that his indecision has blocked the progress of the revenge plan, he will be very annoyed by it, and he will make a heavy blow to himself. Self-analysis.

On the one hand, Hamlet is indeed summing up lessons in self-analysis and sharpening his will for revenge. This is indeed a kind of courage to face up to his own shortcomings.

But on the other hand, he may also be looking for a reasonable explanation for his cowardice that repeatedly missed opportunities for revenge.

3.3 Moral Sensitivity

Hamlet has a very sensitive moral consciousness. He hates his uncle and mother, and he hates all acts that violate morality. This moral sensitivity laid the foundation for Hamlet to finally embark on the road of revenge.

When he learned of the cause of his father's death, he first thought it violated the moral values ​​of humanism, which clearly exposed the limitations of the humanism advocated by Hamlet.

This extremely strong moral sensitivity is the starting point for Hamlet to think about all issues. But in fact, humanism is also mixed with feudalism. In the face of reality, Hamlet's moral sensitivity appears pale and powerless.

4. Conclusion

"Hamlet" is the most representative and typical work among Western tragedies. The tragedy of Hamlet stems from the multiple contradictions in his character. Combined with the background of the time, these contradictions are the epitome of social contradictions.

Therefore, this work is not only a literary masterpiece but also a history book of social studies in that era.

Nowadays, "Hamlet" has already become a typical representative of literary and artistic creation, especially the writer's shaping of characters' contradictory personalities, social contradictions, tragedies, etc., vividly depicting the contradictions of Hamlet, an idealist, and also emphasizing the value of death and life . thinking brought new insights. 

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