The tragic story of Hamlet
Hamlet is one of the most popular yet defining plays written by Shakespeare. This masterpiece is a tragedy that makes the human mind contemplate about the problems life throws at us .Hamlet makes one question the nature of man and the good versus evil. (Willbern 8)The play focuses of how the characters deal with different dilemmas that they are faced with; it reveals the various character traits of the human nature. These traits bring out different emotions such love hatred, anger grief and despair.
Characters in the play
Hamlet, who is the main character in the play, is the prince of Denmark. He is born to Queen Gertrude and The late king Hamlet. Although Hamlet is the rightful heir to the Throne, he is still regarded as a prince. This is due to the current King Claudius who is his uncle, from this we can already tell that Hamlet has been denied his birthright .He lives his life filled with extreme bitterness and anger for his uncompromising uncle. When Polonius asks Hamlet “what do you read my Lord "(2.2.219)? Hamlet replies by saying words, words, words “(2.2.210).The lifeless manner in which hamlet response is a direct indication of the inner turmoil he feels.
Hamlet is faced with the internal dilemma of whether to avenge his father’s untimely death that roped him of his title. Hamlet also has disgust for his mother whose sexuality he does not agree with. Hamlet who is educated is filled with different types of emotions .He is indecisive due to the situation he is in, We notice the irony in the play when he makes rush and impulsive decisions .
When we compare Hamlets character to the nature of our human condition, we notice that such character traits can be noticed in present day. This also shows that we can relate the happening of events that occurred centuries ago to events that are happening in the present day. Hamlets plea for justice and recognition which forces his kind nature to turn into bitterness for his enemies can be seen in the situations that are happening currently (Willbern12).Many people have been forced to live their lives in bitterness due to the fact that they have been denied, their loved ones, the claim to property and other social injustices that is happening around the world. This has put them in situations where they contemplate whether they should confront their enemies or live with the knowledge that they did not get the justice they deserved.
Hamlets disgust for his mother can be compared to children who have been let down by their parents in one way or another. A mother is the most important person to a child .She provides comfort and care and most of all love that ensures that the child can face the world without any fear. Hamlet feels betrayed by his mother’s behavior which is seen as embarrassing especially for a woman of her stature.
The fact that Hamlets life has been a rollercoaster ride filled with many tragedies makes him, an indecisive and yet unpredictable man. With hamlet faced with the duty to fight for his right, He does not know the exact time or way of confronting his enemies. Hamlet shows that he is unable to act because his thought about the human condition justifies the perception he feels for the of the ridiculous state of the human condition Despite this he has been known to make some unpredictable decisions I the process of trying to defend him.
Claudius is seen as the villain in the play. His quest to maintain his position as the king of Denmark makes him carry out a vast amount of social ills. According to (Spark notes Act 1scene 1) the people have lost their beloved king Hamlet and he is to be succeeded not by his son but by his brother who they are not sure of. He is seen as the main antagonist, by killing Hamlets father and making Hamlets life a living hell. Claudius is calculating in all the decision he makes and is always ready with a backup plan .He is also known for his Hugh sexual appetite which is combined with his lust for power.
His character can be compared to Current politicians who are power hungry and don’t stop until they get what they want (Willbern 8) .Although Claudius encompasses all the worst character traits he shows some occasional hints of guilt for his evils .We can also see that he is has compassion which can be seen by the love he shows Gertrude.
The qualities of the human condition involve the uncertainties that human beings face in life such as unavoidable death. It does not encompass normal human feelings that are affected by race, sex, social status e.tc.
Willbern, David. Poetic Will: Shakespeare and the Play of Language. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. Print.