This is a very interesting meme from the Introverted Reader, where the goal is to spotlight one character of interest every week.
My choice this week is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, one of Shakespeare's greatest characters, and possibly the greatest dramatic character ever. I've been inspired by the gorgeous and extremely talented David Tennant's version of Hamlet which was aired on PBS last week, and which I have seen three times already and can't get enough of!
Hamlet's character has been analyzed to bits by scholars, and I'm going to make my case as to why I personally love this character. Hamlet is a very sensitive and emotional young man, but not crazy as he is made out to be sometimes. To see what he is going through, I would like you to put yourself in Hamlet's shoes for a bit.
Your father, whom you loved deeply, has passed away. While you are filled with profound grief, your mother marries your uncle who is now king. Your are shattered by this event, when the ghost of your father appears before you and tells you that your father was actually murdered by your uncle, and wants you to avenge this murder.
This is indeed a tough situation for anyone. Hamlet is driven by conflicting emotions. He loves Ophelia, but mistrusts women because of his mother's actions. He has an opportunity to kill the king, but does not do so. In the meantime, the king is plotting his murder. All this leads to Hamlet being directly or indirectly being involved in the death of more than one person, eventually ending in tragedy all around.
It is hard to have a crush on Hamlet, but I like this character, because Hamlet is sometimes a part of me. There are moments in all our lives when we are faced with difficult questions and choices and find it hard to decide what is right and to act on that decision. Hamlet is given several soliloquies where he debates himself, is conflicted, very emotional and even appears crazy. How can I not cite his best speech
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep -
No more - and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to! 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep -
To sleep - Perchance to dream;
ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.
Ultimately Hamlet is a very good person, trying to do the right thing, and
Shakespeare brings this out very well indeed. Here is Horatio's final tribute to
Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet Prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.