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Word Count: 1,657
Hamlet c 1600 is perhaps the most famous of all the tragedies created by William Shakespeare The main character Hamlet -- may be the most complex and controversial character any playwright has ever placed onstage Hamlets erratic behavior poses a question is he being rational in his acts and sacrificing himself for the greater good or is he simply mad How and why does Hamlet move from one state of mind to the other What significance does this have for the play Throughout the play Hamlet goes through several different stages of life constantly being in a tortured mental state caught between love grief and vengeance His different states of mind are the result of his controversial personality and his ability to objectively analyze any situation Over the centuries there have been a multitude of different explanations for Hamlets behavior One of the views is that Hamlet is simply a victim of circumstances the other presents him as a beautiful but ineffectual soul who lacked the willpower to avenge his father Hamlet can also be viewed as something close to a manic-depressive whose melancholy moods as his failure to take revenge continues deepened into self-contempt His disturbing gift of laughing at his own grief as well as at the shortcomings of the world in general also contributes to the complexity of his character His laughter strengthens the plot by becoming one of the qualities of his mind that enable him to avoid his mission and postpone his revenge The reader can see that Shakespeare meant to create Hamlet to be such a complicated character Hamlet is a person of exceptional intelligence and sensitivity raised to occupy a high station in life and then suddenly confronted with a violent and terrifying situation in which he must take drastic action He admits that he is not ready for this task The time is out of joint O cursed spite That ever I was born to set
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