Shakesperian Literature: Hamlet’s Character in Act 2

Hamlet’s Character

In Act 2 of his play titled Hamlet, Shakespeare depicts the protagonist Hamlet as the only gifted politician in Elsinore. Although he could read men’s minds accurately, Hamlet is reluctant to respond to other characters vengefully. He only mentions revenge in his last speech despite having the capacity to read other characters’ minds. Essentially, Shakespeare uses Hamlet to demonstrate the primordial link between stage performance of plays and real-life scenarios. For instance, Hamlet wonders, “How can this player be so filled with grief and rage over Priam and Hecuba, imaginary figures whom he doesn’t even know” (Shakespeare, 2016, 2.2. 495). This question is posed in soliloquy to evoke the audiences’ thoughts about the relationships between theatre scenes and reality. Shakespeare conveys the message that it is not necessary to develop strong attachments to characters to make one emotional. Acting is merely stage-managed activity and seldom anything warrants any strong emotions. Hence, a critical analysis of Hamlet’s interactions throughout the scene shows that he is so preoccupied with the pursuit of the meaning of the action that he opts not to do what the audience expects – murder Claudius.

The audience encounters an evasive Hamlet who is largely interested in the coordination of the play. Shakespeare strives to capture the 18th-century theatre industry realities in the fantasy Elsinore world, with Hamlet acting in the same play he is directing. As such, Hamlet cannot act on his knowledge and information about other characters to sustain the plot. However, his revelations in soliloquy speeches show the replications of real-life scenarios and experiences in theatre. For instance, Hamlet refers to the impact of grief from both theatrical perspectives by posing the question: “What’s Hecuba to him or he to her” (Shakespeare, 2016, 2.2. 588). It relates to an incident in which Hecuba weeps while grieving her murdered husband. Notably, the soliloquy helps the audience to regain the sense that what happens on the theatre stage is a mere performance for entertainment and lessons. In essence, Shakespeare creates a perceptual image of the real-life theatre scene in the act, with Hamlet being the director. As such, Hamlet cannot act on all information at his disposal because it is meant for plot development.

Shakespeare Drama Paper

Shakespeare’s literary works are a rich source of information about life in Europe in the early 17th century. Anyone seeking knowledge about this topic can rely on Shakespearean literature. However, a careful selection of the literary works to review and analyze is necessary, which should depend on the aspects that one wants to explore. Hamlet is among Shakespeare’s outstanding works that paint a succinct picture of what transpired in London’s theatre spaces, as was the manifestation of different aspects of life. A study of the themes advanced in Hamlet, particularly madness, will help unveil and explore the community and social attributes of the Shakespearean era. Essentially, madness is the dominant theme in Hamlet, although the condition is differently manifested in various characters. Shakespeare uses this theme to depict the complex personality traits of his characters. Therefore, writing a drama section paper centered on the theme of madness will aid the exploration of social relationships and lead to a better understanding of Shakespeare’s approach to character creation. The observation that literary writers center their works on social issues, as can be deduced from the analysis of Shakespeare’s themes in Hamlet, cannot be overemphasized.


Shakespeare, W. (2016). Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. (B. Mowat & P. Werstine, Eds). Web.

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