Shakespeare’s characterization of Hamlet is perhaps his most revered composition. Hamlet, a Danish prince, returns home only to be struck by the news of his mother’s marriage to his uncle Claudius just two months after his father’s death. He terms this as an atrocious act of incest. A ghost of his deceased father coerces him to murder Claudius to get his revenge. The prince finds himself at a crossroads between the heinous act he is sworn to commit and his unwilling conscious. He seeks for plausible means to tackle this crisis and resorts to masquerading as a deranged individual to achieve his conquest of butchering the king. Hamlet is blinded by the need for revenge, and therefore isn’t able to see the consequences his actions could have on those around him.
Hamlet in his pursuits is constantly seeking for justification to kill Claudius. In his hunger for the motivation to kill his uncle, Hamlet uses a play to sketch the occurrence of his father’s death in the audience of Claudius. His uncle’s frustrations during the theatrical piece serve as a much-needed shot in the arm for Hamlet’s murderous fixation. In much of the play, Hamlet laments the unfortunate state of the world he is living in and sees himself as a champion of justice. He acknowledges the vitality of killing Claudius, which would render him free of the ghost’s obligations.
Hamlet is hesitant in killing his uncle and contemplates on using spiritual justifications to warrant his intent as seen in Act V. Internal conflict is seen as Hamlet struggles with the validity of the ghost of his father and how executing his uncle would impact his life. He is uncertain about this deed and ponders over committing suicide coining the infamous phrase: “To be or not to be, that is the question.” He is distressed that the devil intends to compel him to commit such a sinister act. Faced with this conundrum, Hamlet is reluctant to carry out vengeance for his slain father.
Claudius is weary of his nephew and in association with other characters continually orchestrates a means to murder the prince. Ophelia’s brother Laertes is among the perpetrators of Claudius’s ploy. He puts the blame on Hamlet for the death of his sister. The author to illustrate double vengeance in the play uses this scenario. Hamlet is oblivious of whether his mother Gertrude had a hand in the murder of his father. The circle of death in the play confirms the repercussions clouded judgments.
Hamlet is particularly concerned about his mother’s betrayal. He struggles with the affection of his mother but at the same time loathes her for her infidelity. Ophelia’s decision to go behind his back torments his mind, and he is torn apart between his feelings for her and his distaste for her dishonesty. He internally questions the sincerity of the love of all those who have betrayed.
Throughout a good part of the play, Hamlet despises himself for failing to act on the will of the ghost of his father. All of these internal struggles display that Hamlet is a depressed individual. The cold murder of Polonius was perhaps Shakespeare’s way of showing the consequences made by irrational decisions. Hamlet pays the ultimate price for his revenge by losing a woman he held dear, committing a foul murder on an innocent man and losing his own life.