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Hamlet Essay

Hamlet remains one of the more unique characters William Shakespeare ever devised. Part of the reason for this is that while Hamlet is a sympathetic character he is also a tragically dark one. This is because Hamlet is driven to avenge the death of his own father and that vengeance comes through killing his uncle. This creates a bizarre torment for the prince as he must kill a surrogate father in order to avenge his biological father. Consider the following aside Hamlet states: [A little more than kin…1:2]

This reveals much about the conflicted nature of the character as Hamlet understands that merely being related to someone does not mean one should give or expect to receive unconditional love. In fact, often it is kin that are the unkindest of all. From this realization, Hamlet truly becomes an internally conflicted figure. Of course, the second famous quote by Hamlet after “to be or not to be” is [There are more things in heaven…1:5]. This truly displays Hamlets desire to internalize his feeling and look for deeper meaning.

Unfortunately, this search for deeper meaning leads him to desire revenge which ultimately leads to his internally conflicted nature. This nature is what leads to Hamlet’s tragic life. Hamlet’s internal conflicts and desire for revenge essentially crafts a world where Hamlet is alone in his own isolation and misery. This is visible in his brutal statements [Get thee to a nunnery… believe none of us. 5:1] which drive away the one person who was closest to him. Hamlet’s legacy is that he destroyed his humanity in a desire to exact revenge. This truly is a tragedy of the highest order.

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