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Hamlet is supposedly centered on one character; Hamlet himself, but the play is
driven by plots and schemes that are derived from other characters in the play.
In the play Hamlet, the character Polonius causes misconstrued emotions in other
characters, and this is due in large part to his position as a confidant to many
main characters. He is acting as a middleman and manipulates others
characters feelings to lead up to final conflict. Polonius is a man that
confuses most, but intrigues all. For the beginning of the play he is the
readers guide, and helps to inform the reader of all that is happening within
the lives of the main characters. He was not meant to be a main character, but
any character that is put in the position of an informant instantly becomes a
main character. Polonius is a character in the play for just long enough to give
the reader a good start with what is going on. Polonius is the one character who
communicates and interacts with every other character in the play. He pieces the
play and the characters together to make them more understandable to the reader.
Communication is what Polonius does well, but it is also what he does for his
living. He is dedicated to the King, but at the same time he is dedicated to his
daughter, Ophelia, his son, Laertes, and the Queen, Gertrude. His connections
with these powerful people is a great example of how they are all getting
information from Polonius, and using it to wreak their own havoc. Polonius
position as the middleman gives him an indescribable amount of power,
which he takes advantage of. He uses what others tell him to supply others with
valuable information, all the way up until his sudden demise. Polonius changes
very little throughout the several Acts for which he is present, but that
doesnt take away from his importance as a character. He establishes himself
as a liar and as someone that is not to be trusted, constantly going behind the
backs of others. We see an example of this when Polonius was spying on his
daughter and Hamlet, You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said; we heard it
all(Act 3, Sc. 1). He constantly gathers information on others, and uses it
to boost his own standings with Claudius. Throughout Polonius involvement, he
is portrayed and depicted as someone that uses others, even his own daughter,
but he can be viewed in a different light as well. Polonius was simply doing
what every human being strives for; he wanted to know the whole truth about
everything. He used his knowledge in a negative manner, but he maintained his
composure and did what he needed to do. He had his limits, and it can certainly
be fathomed that he could have done much more damage than he actually did. He
was the confidant to many people, and knew a lot about everyone, but he only
told the king what he really needed to know, he was just doing his duty as
Claudius partner. Polonius sense of loyalty to Claudius was maintained up
until the last minutes of his life; things are not adequately explained without
him there. Claudius lost his informant, Ophelia and Laertes lost their father,
and Gertrude lost her confidant. With the demise of Polonius came the demise of
the play. Without that buffer between characters, conflicts began to arise
directly. It can be gathered that Polonius was what kept everyone together, yet
apart at the same time. He was what kept direct conflicts out of the picture,
and now that he was dead, the pinnacle of conflict came into play. There was no
one there to confuse the characters, so there was nothing left to do but
confront each other, hence, the death of Polonius lead to the deaths and demise
of the other characters.
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Find essay on Shakespeare Hamlet
Through Hamlet's own hesitation, paranoia, and desire to gain revenge, he inadvertently sets himself up for the tragic events that conclude the Shakespearean play Hamlet. On account of his active participation, and at the same time ignorance, his efforts to serve justice are a failure. Three of his faults are how he deals with: his father's death, his mother's marriage, and Ophelia's love.
At the beginning of the play, Hamlet is already extremely depressed and has been mourning his father's death in his "inky cloak" for an excessive period of time. He obviously had very strong love for his father - "He was a man, take him for all in all: I shall not look upon his like again." - and is having a difficult time dealing with his death. Then, in his misery, he also has to deal with his mother's marriage "of most wicked speed to incestuous sheets." He expresses his frustration and confusion during his soliloquy in Act 1, Scene 2 after the new King's announcement to his people.
Horatio then arrives to tell Hamlet of the 'apparition' that was seen the night before. A figure resembling the Old Hamlet - "these hands are not more like" - appeared outside the castle. This presents concern for Hamlet because he feels that there has been some 'foul play' to cause the appearance of this spirit. In Kenneth Branagh's movie production, Hamlet begins to look through a book about demons. This suggests that Hamlet presumes something unpleasant has taken place. Hamlet insists that he sees this ghost and accompanies Horatio and Marcellus on their watch. The ghost presents itself again and Hamlet follows it where it proceeds to make known to Hamlet the evil act of murder that has been committed by Claudius. Hamlet then swears to avenge his father's death and forget everything else - "from the table of my memory I'll wipe away all trivial fond records."
Hamlet becomes so obsessed with this idea that he leads himself into madness and paranoia. He separates himself from everything else, even his own feelings. Up until this point in the play Hamlet has displayed a great amount of affection for Ophelia. Previously, he had been sending her many letters and tokens of affection. Ophelia "sucked the honey of his music vows" and returned his seeming-to-be-honest affections. Polonius finds out about this affair and orders his daughter to cease the relationship. Ophelia does so against her will. However, Hamlet, becoming so wrapped up in his plans for revenge, has put on an antic disposition and frightens Ophelia. Ophelia feels that she is the cause of his madness because she denied him.
Hamlet also feels betrayed by his mother. She married Claudius just a short time after her husband, whom she supposedly loved eternally, died. Hamlet feels that love is hopeless now and it does not really exist how he always thought it to be. He has become misogynous and wants nothing to do with Ophelia. When Ophelia confronts him and returns his gifts saying, "Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind," Hamlet becomes even more upset and he begins to mock womankind. Ophelia feels responsible for his 'madness' and also heartbroken because she has lost her love.
Hamlet's excitement rises as he finds out the King is guilty at the 'play'. The King's response to Hamlet's reenactment of the murder was exactly what he had anticipated. Hamlet has become so paranoid and anxious that he kills Polonius on impulse in his mother's 'closet'. This sends Ophelia straight to her own death. She just could not deal with the responsibility of Hamlet's madness and the fact that the man she loved so dearly murdered her beloved father.
Throughout and as a result of all this confusion, Hamlet's madness has increased perhaps to the point where he is not sane at all. He became so concerned and obsessed with revenge that he disregarded anything that ever mattered to him. Thus, he lost the love of his life through his own ignorance and impulsive actions. He only realizes this after her death but somehow thinks he must continue on this path of determination. Also, as a result of his hesitation many ... more
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