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Hamlet: How The Audience Reacts

Uploaded by kierangod on Nov 05, 2001

How does Shakespeare influence the audience’s response to the character of Hamlet?


There are many scenes within the play of Hamlet, which can alter the audience’s perception of the main character, Hamlet. So much of Hamlet is an attempt to deceive the audience; Hamlet’s madness, his ‘antic disposition’ is a prime example. Others include Act Three Scene one, where Hamlet is incredibly, viciously rude toward Ophelia, his alleged lover. This impression of Hamlet depicts a ghastly picture, one of tribulation and inclemency.

Personally, I believe that the image portrayed by Shakespeare of Hamlet is one of aptitude for guile and justice. Many things during this complex play indicate that this is certainly the case. Hamlets plan with the Players is one of cunning and coyness; a play to damn his fathers killer, during Act Two Scene Two, ‘The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.’ Although he is hell-bound on avenging his fathers death, this destructive rage within him is, nevertheless, overcome by his intelligence, forcing him to be sure himself of his fathers killer. This action shows us, the audience, of Hamlets mentality, and his overall mental predominance over his other acquaintances.

Another scene tells the audience that Hamlet is also a man of justice, a willing to discover the truth. Act three scene three is when Hamlet passes up his first, and as far as he knew, his only chance to kill his uncle. His reason was one of integrity, but also could be considered one of cruelty and vengeance. His procrastination of his uncle’s inevitable murder evidently displays an image of Hamlet doing what is right, or an image of arrant repugnance

Hamlet is not an evil man. It is quite understandable that he has a hatred for his uncle, but what is alarming is his absolute unforgiving frame of mind toward his mother. Presumably, Gertrude is oblivious to all wrongdoing, and should not be blamed as much as Hamlet seems to. All Gertrude is guilty of is being naïve and foolish to the faults of new husband. He insults her as though she were his uncle; ‘…at your age the heyday in the blood is tame.’, during Act Three Scene Four, Questioning her love for Claudius, presuming that it wasn’t the sex, as she was too old!

Hamlet was arguably one of the greatest dramatic characters Shakespeare created, and extremely contradictory in his actions, being reckless,...

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Uploaded by:   kierangod

Date:   11/05/2001

Category:   Hamlet

Length:   13 pages (2,821 words)

Views:   1222

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