HAMLET KEY CHARACTER ANALYSIS

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  • HAMLET CHARACTER ANALYSIS
    • HAMLET
      • Central to his characterisation > used as weapons and defence as well as for deception BUT also his root flaw  makes him indecisive
      • Has overall bad relationship with women > loves Ophelia but verbally abuses her > disgusted by Gertrude
      • Philosophical and obsessively contemplates every action > contradicted by killing of Polonious and Rosencrantz and Guillernstern > feels no remorse and is impulsive
      • Hates deception but pretends to be mad and plots against Claudius extremely melancholy about dad, state of Denmark and family in general > contemplates suicide and own death
        • Seen as sexual object by Hamlet who is a corrupt and deceitful lover.
          • Seen as an eternal virgin/vessel of morality by dad and brother
      • shows himself as devout man > can't kill himself and struggles w concept of killing others and is v against Getrude's sexuality
    • CLAUDIUS
      • Politician-like > manipulates words to create schemes that people agree to > speech = compared to poison in ear > like how he murdered King Hamlet although on the throne his hold is tenuous at best > knows it and so tries to get rid of Hamlet
      • Contrasts other male characters as they're all concerned with moral justice and revenge where as Claudius is only concerned w maintaining own power
      • Hamlet and Claudius mirror each other (like in most Shakes plays) > both believe end justifies means and sacrifice humility to achieve goals ultimately seen as antagonist bc he murdered and lied > not sorry for it > Hamlet did murders in open and suffers morally
    • GERTRUDE
      • Ghost describes her as if she's not completely innocent but sill tells Hamlet to leave her alone > still unsure as reader never opposes Claudius to protect Hamlet
      • Ghost describes her as if she's not completely innocent but still tells Hamlet to leave her alone > still unsure as reader never opposes Claudius to protect Hamlet.
      • The role of women at this time was to be subservient and it would have been a lonely place for her if she wasn’t Queen.
    • OPHELIA
      • Love interest of Hamlet's conforms to contemporary womanly role of obeying men around her.
      • Torn between being dutiful daughter/sister and renaissance idea of being true to her heart/love for Hamlet > has no mother to guide her. Makes decision between two worlds when involved in Polonius/ spying on Hamlet and her's interaction.
      • Seen as an eternal virgin/vessel of morality by dad and brother
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