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Word Count: 2,137
In Shakespeares Hamlet the main character offers a puzzling and ambiguous persona Throughout the play Hamlet often contradicts himself He seems to balance the virtues of playing a role with being true to himself Further proof of these conflicting personas are demonstrated by his actions and inactions The ambiguity noted here lies in two conflicting mannerisms displayed by the young Hamlet One that is perfectly calm and rational and another which displays madness These conflicting behaviors are related within Hamlets internal struggle-to kill Claudius for revenge of his fathers murder or act responsibly and await further proof of Claudius guilt Throughout the play Hamlet teeters on the brink of insanity induced by his actions or inactionsHamlets sanity is clarified in the first act by statements and feelings expressed within his dialogue When asked about his depressed appearance and demeanor by Gertrude Hamlet replies Seems madam Nay it is I know not seems 1037 line 76 This relates the idea that Hamlet is what he appears to be Later he clearly makes a statement about his mental health when he commits himself to avenge his fathers murder This quote allows the reader to follow Hamlets train of thought in regards to his role as student mourning son and Prince to the throneIll wipe away all trivial fond records All saws of books all forms all pressures past That youth and observation copied there And thy commandment all alone shall live Within the book and volume of my brain 1054 line 100 Hamlet is stating his utmost commitment to nothing short of revenge of his fathers death At this juncture in the play there is little doubt about his state of mind or intentions However the next act belies Hamlets sanity and reasonIn act two Hamlet appears again although it now becomes apparent he has lost the conviction he demonstrated earlier-to complete his destiny as prescribed by the ghost of his father During this act Hamlet spends
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