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Posted on June 15th, 2012, by

William Shakespeare is customary regarded to be the finest dramatist the world has ever seen and the greatest poet who has created his plays in the English language. Besides, Shakespeare has been the world’s most famous author.

No other writer’s works have been published so many times or read so broadly in so many places.

Shakespeare knew human nature as few other writers have. He could notice in a particular dramatic case the qualities that refer to all human beings. He could thus produce characters that have notion beyond the time and place of his works. Yet, his characters are not symbolic people. They are prominent individual human beings. They strive just as people do in real situations, sometimes fruitfully and at times with troublesome and tragic mischance.

Shakespeare created at least 37 works. These works include vivid characters of all kinds and from walks of reality.

Kings, pickpockets, thieves, shepherds and philosophers, generals and hired killers all intermix in Shakespeare’s writings. In supplement to his deep conception of human nature, Shakespeare had knowledge in a broad diversity of other subjects. These subjects contain music, the law, art, and politics, the Bible, military science, history and sports.

Yet, Shakespeare had no professional knowledge in any subject to the exclusion of the theatre.


Above all other writers stands William Shakespeare, the greatest genius whom it is not possible to characterize shortly. Shakespeare is outstanding as poet and individual, but he stays elusive. The solidity and deep popularity of his taste gave him the possibility to lead the Renaissance in England without privileging or prejudicing any one of its various aspects, while as actor, playwright, and stockholder in the Lord Chamberlain’s players he was drawn into the Elizabethan theatre at every degree. His career (dated from 1589 to 1613) was just within the time of greatest literary prosperity, and only in his writings are all the possibilities of the Renaissance totally realized.

The embroilments and discrepancies of Shakespeare’s epoch find their highest flourish in his tragedies. In these outstanding achievements, all worthies, hierarchies, and types are examined and found wanting, and all society’s hidden conflicts are displayed. Shakespeare opposes husband against wife, mother against child, the individual against state; he uncrowns viceroys, equates the nobleman with the wretched, and questions the gods. In the main tragedies that follow, Shakespeare’s practice cannot be rationed to a single general phrase that covers all situations, for each tragedy refers to a separate type: revenge tragedy in “Hamlet”¯, domestic tragedy in “Othello”¯, social tragedy in “King Lear”¯ and so on.

Shakespeare changed the drama, widening the audience’s concept of human life and changed the language. His writings, then as now, addressed to a great audience. They reveal both a fundamental knowledge of literature and a deep sympathy with the language and conduct of the ordinary man. The discerning commercial dramatist and the extraordinary gifted artist cannot be divided.

William Shakespeare coped with the difficult plot of “Hamlet”¯ perfectly. In this production, he also produced maybe his greatest gallery of characters.

The role of Hamlet is thought to be one of the theatre’s outstanding acting challenges. Shakespeare concentrated the play on the profound conflict between the requirements of his emotions and the irresolute skepticism of his mind.

Hamlet displays this conflict in some familiar and brilliant soliloquies.

The nature of Hamlet’s character is rather difficult. He is, at the same time, affectionate and cruel, loving and vengeful, a deeply reflective introvert and a man who can act on impulse.

In accordance with Ophelia, Hamlet has the signs of an ideal person. By nature, Hamlet is straightforward and honest. Even Claudius commends this side of his character:

He, being remiss,

Most generous, and free from all contriving.


He is a fairly good judge of character and rapidly understands that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are in the intrigue of his uncle:

But let me conjure you, by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for, or no.

(Act II, scene II, 290-295.)

Hamlet has bravery. In the fight at sea, he led the battle against the pirates. And he is approved by the Danes. Really, this is one of the causes why Claudius did not penalized Hamlet for killing Polonius.

When we first see Hamlet he is despondent and disappointed. His Father died and his mother married his uncle two months later after her husband’s death.

He is depressed by the hypocrisy of his uncle:

O villain, villain; smiling, damned villain!

That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

(Act I, scene V, 105-110.)


The acts of Claudius and Gertrude shake his confidence in people to such a degree that everyone and everything is damaged:

How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable

Seem to me all uses of the world!

(Act I, scene II, 130-135.)


One of the first to sustain from Hamlet’s disappointment is Ophelia. His relation to her in Act 3 is difficult to explain.

It is right that Hamlet’s confidence in women was undermined by his mother’s wedding and it is also likely that Hamlet understands that Ophelia had been commanded to find him. Yet, there is little justification for the brutality and the asperity of his comments:

Get thee to a nunnery. Why woulds thou be a breeder

of sinners?

(Act III, scene I, 120-125.)


When Hamlet finds out that his father has been killed he asks the Ghost for particulars so that:

I, with wings as swift

As meditation or the thoughts of love,

May sweep to my reve

(Act I, scene V, 29-31.)


In this answer Hamlet displays his lack of self-knowledge. He cannot “sweep”¯ to his vengeance. Rather he reflects on his father’s death, his mother’s infidelity and his uncle’s crime. Even when he gets evidence that Claudius killed his father, Hamlet vacillates and he continues to vacillate even when the Ghost has come back: “”¦ to whet thy almost blunted purpose”¯ (Act III, scene IV, 110-115); Hamlet hesitates between the reasoned proofs of his monologues and the emotional impulses, which gives him reason to murder Polonius and jump into Ophelia’s grave. Hamlet is capable of deliberate cruelty. He rejects to kill Claudius when the king is at grace because he wants to penalize Claudius both in this world and the next one.

Hamlet’s realation to Ophelia in Act 3 again guesses that he is not exactlt in control of his actions. Even if he finds out that Polonius and Claudius hear, and even if he feels that Ophelia, like this mother, is unfaithful, it is still difficult to explain the brutality of his remarks. Their influence on Ophelia is instant. She supposes that Hamlet is undoubtedly mad. His conduct in the graveyard calls his common sense into question. When he understands that Ophelia is dead, he jumps into her grave, affirming that his care for is greater than any brother’s. It may well be real that Hamlet cared for Ophelia (though his conduct to her was not that of a tender lover) but his acts in the graveyard are frantic and hysterical and betoken a lack of equanimity than of deep-rooted devotion.

Although Hamlet is portrayed as a pessimistic person, he is high-spirited, strong and brave. He is not restricted by the conventionalities of his epoch; he is restricted by his possibilities to struggle against evil. Hamlet has to struggle against numerous problems which overwhelm on him like the billows of the ocean, menacing to undo him. This is what makes him pessimistic and makes him to reflect on death.

Hamlet is an interesting character. He chooses to be a thinker but must perform the role of a venger. He is intelligent and tender, profoundly disturbed by the evil and the infidelity with which he is ringed. His abrupt swings from inactivity to impulsive imprudence may make him a difficult character to class but they make him one of the most everlasting intriguing characters in fiction. Hamlet is one of the outstanding characters known in world literature.

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