How Is Hamlet A Complex Character

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William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet is one of the first known portrayals of the renaissance view of the individual as something complex and fascinating. This view is expressed in particular through the main character Hamlet, who is shown to have multifaceted and occasionally contrasting thoughts, and whose actions are heavily influenced by this. What makes Hamlet such an interesting character, especially considering the time the play was written, is the fact that he is not a wholly good or wholly bad character; he is morally ambiguous. Throughout the play it is shown clearly that Hamlet is struggling with the morality of the situation; he feels that he needs to avenge his father’s death, but is killing Claudius really the right thing to do? In addition to questioning if the ends really justify the means, Hamlet is also faced with the issue…show more content…
In act 3, scene 1, during the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy, Hamlet contemplates which alternative is braver; to live or to kill oneself. One could interpret Hamlet’s character at this point as being borderline suicidal. As he considers the bravery of death, it seems as though he worries that living makes him a coward. This suicidal idealisation is a clear psychological weakness in the character. Another scene that depicts the psychological weakness of the character is when Hamlet decides to start acting like a madman; “Ophelia: My lord, as I was sewing in my closet, Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced; No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd, Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle; Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other; And with a look so piteous in purport As if he had been loosed out of hell To speak of horrors,--he comes before me.” (Act 2, scene 1) Although Hamlet started acting this way purposely, one begins to wonder after a while if acting mad has in fact made him

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