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Hi, My name is Bruce and i am a ESL student. I am writing a paper for my college writing class about Hamlet's character. I really need some help for the grammar and paragraphs. Thanks very much.
As Shakespeare’s eternal classic, Hamlet has been one of the most argued works among world literary for centuries, and Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, his character has always been in the center of discussions. Michael Feingold stated that, Hamlet may be the most complex character any playwright has ever placed on stage. The most known about Hamlet’s character is his hesitation, contradiction and ideal. Hamlet, as a fiction character, is a paradoxical complex, a miniature of Renaissance era, Hamlet’s shadow can be found from many people during that time. In the process of the modernization of western civilization, Renaissance was a transition from medieval to modern, and Shakespeare wrote Hamlet when western society was experiencing an enormous change, or, revolution. Humanism started rising while theology was falling. The beliefs of Renaissance Humanism such as valuing human’s life, human’s free will begun disseminating in Europe, but on the other hand, the shackle of feudal belief was still deep and stubborn. Hamlet, who lived in the core of this storm, is just like the ham of the Italian sub, oppressed and it is ordered toasted. He fought it, struggled, and cried. His enemies are so strong that requires him to
use extraordinary method to achieve his goal: putting a mask on is just one of the basic strategies and because of the defect in his characters, the mask becomes more vivid on him.
Unlike the other Shakespeare’s characters, the prince of Denmark is a 30 years old student who attended the Wittenberg University – the origin of Renaissance
Humanism, where Martin Luther nailed “ 95 of these”. Before his father was murdered, he was a flower in the greenhouse, as the prince of Demark he was rich and had no worries. He was so happy and pure; he had many plans and expectations for the future. “"To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia--- Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move……hine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this
machine is to him”( pg 26; Act II, Scene I). He attended Wittenberg University and influenced by the modern Humanism and protestant belief. Many of his words showed such influences that refer to the new beliefs in Renaissance. His word: “What a piece of work is man. How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty……” (pg 28; Act II, Scene II) tightly connected to Humanism’s anthropocentric belief. Furthermore, Hamlet’s statement: “There's a predestinate providence in the fall of a sparrow” (pg 176; Act V, Scene II) also suggests its connection with doctrine of predestination. However, Hamlet, himself, is a prince of feudal kingdom. The cuff of feudalism are never been taken off from his hands. The contradiction in his character is actually a reflection of the conflict of
his humanism, and feudal beliefs. The crystal garden of his fantasy life collapsed with his father’s sudden death. All the responsibilities and questions fall upon him with no sign. The innocent prince of Denmark is lost, until the ghost shows him the way. The ghost of Hamlet’s father’s is the key of the play, the different interpretation of its presence can render the whole play with different color. The ghost reveals the secret of his father’s death, and plans a seed in Hamlet’s heart. Someone may interpret this seed as the poison of the feudal society. In Hamlet’s feudal society, men often fought for their honor and glory. In medieval Europe there was a brutal and strict code of honor called Chivalry. The way his uncle murdered his father is certainly unchivalrous. Therefore, Hamlet, as the son of the King Hamlet, had to avenge against Claudius, to re-honor his father and his family. In this explanation, the acceptance of revenge by Hamlet can be viewed as a reflection of the society that still domain by feudal belief. And this seed in his heart soon grow into the flower of hate which would cover up Hamlet’s destiny with the tragic shadow. However, he didn’t begin his revenge right away, and instead, he was drawn into a cycle of thinking, a whirlpool of contradiction in beliefs. In the scene when Hamlet was watching Claudius in the dark while he is preying, the struggling in his heart had reached its peak. “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;And now I'll do 't: and so he goes to heaven; And so am I reveng'd.”( pg 97; Act III, Scene III). It wasn’t the weakness of Hamlet that resulted in his hesitation. It was his humanism belief of respecting life hauled him from his revenge.” to be or not to be”( pg 93; Act III, Scene I). In Hamlet’s thought, the value
of revenge was way more important than the physical killing. He questioned about how much it would change by the simple death of Claudius. So eventually, the mercy of
Humanism defeat Hamlet’s hate, which would bring him the endless nightmare later on. However, his hate grows day by day, the longer he stayed at the Denmark, more darkness he witness and more decisive he is. "I'll make a ghost of he who tries to stop me"( pg 67; Act II, Scene III). In order to complete his task, he has to fake his insanity and uses extreme method. “He is dead and gone, lady, / He is dead and gone; / At his head a grass-green turf, / At his heels a stone.” (pg 85; Act IV, Scene V) .Through his lover, Ophelia’s mouth, everyone in Denmark will believe that Hamlet is truly insane. In this way, Hamlet is able to investigate his father’s death without being noticed. However, as he continuing his investigation, he becomes more skeptical and irrational. The further he goes, the deeper he is drawn into the tragic that play he directed himself. He begins to enjoy the portraying of a different person and manipulate everyone around him. His eyes are blinded by his hatred, and so his concessions are buried in the same way. He gives up his ideal, his freedom and his love for the so called justice and honor. His actions push his mother away, and killed his Ophelia. The consequence of his revenge costs his life and everyone else he cared. In the end, at the last breathe of his life, he finally wakes up and realizes how stupid and foolish he was. However, that’s already too late. The whole play of the Hamlet becomes a tragedy of how a innocent and noble prince becomes a pathetic tool of hate, a puppet of fate and victim of feudal kingdom.
However, if the ghost is interpreted from a different angle, then the whole play of the hamlet will become a completely different story. Instead accusing the ghost as the sin of the feudal society, it can be viewed as a call of destiny for Hamlet that telling him to
become the pioneer of the new era. The responsibilities that laid on Hamlet’s shoulders then will become a task of restoring the harmony of the kingdom and establishing the new order of the society. It replaces Hamlet’s dark and bloody motivation of hatred with the brave and majestic determination of revolution. Hamlet himself will become a fighter, a warrior who hovers between the prize of blood that is demanded for the revolution and his mercy. In the end, he sacrifices himself and everyone else that he cared for the new world. He completes the transformation from a boy to a man. He is the hope of the new age. Even though, he died in the end, but he threw the first brick into the window of the rotten feudal society. The whole play of the Hamlet becomes a story of a hero instead of a tragedy.
Hamlet is one of the most successful characters among world literary. His multifaceted image and character has been discussed over centuries. One thousand readers will have one thousand “Hamlet”. His insanity or sanity is depends on reader’s own perspective. Just like Hamlet said, “here is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”(pg 70; Act II, Scene II). But his image will be living in people’s mind forever.