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Character Analysis

Obviously, Hamlet appeared in most of the fifth act of the play as he was the main
character of this whole story. Hamlets role in the play was to avenge his fathers death. In this
act, Hamlet dueled Laertes. Laertes coaxed Hamlet to play him in a fencing match. Hamlet gave
into Laertes cajoling, which let the King and Laertes set a trap for him. Although Hamlet was an
intelligent man, he acted rashly at times, such as accepting Laertes invitation to duel. As Laertes
described, it was supposedly a friendly fencing match, but Laertes and the King sabotaged the
match by sharpening and poisoning the rapier, intending to kill Hamlet. Laertes mistakenly hated
Hamlet because the King blamed Hamlet for killing his father, Polonius. Hamlet realized his
actions and said But I am very sorry, good Horatio, that to Laertes I fought myself; for by the
image of my cause I see the portrait of his. Hamlet lost himself in anger, which caused him to
kill Polonius without thinking twice, and he wanted Laertes to forgive him. Again, Hamlet acted
rashly without thinking, and it caused Laertes to hate him. Of course, Laertes was enraged and
although he and the King accepted his apology, Laertes and Hamlet still had to duel.
Hamlet became poisoned from obtaining a wound from Laertes poisoned sword. During
the battle, they exchanged swords by mistake, and Laertes also became poisoned by his own
sword. Both of them died shortly after, but before they died, Laertes confessed to Hamlet that the
King set up this whole duel to get rid of Hamlet. After hearing that, Hamlet violently murdered
the King by stabbing him with the poisoned sword and force-feeding him some poisoned liquor.
Here, Hamlet showed his drive to accomplish his task until the end. Although he was weak, he
killed the King and was able to fulfill his fathers wish. Shakespeare depicted Hamlets character
very enigmatically. Throughout the entire play, Hamlet exhibited a very wide array of emotions,
such as insulting his lover to being happy to contemplating suicide. Hamlets real thoughts were
never explicitly stated in the play, which made Hamlet a very difficult character to understand.
However, one thing was for certain: his drive for revenge was enormous. Apparently this drive
for revenge caused him to go insane, but in the end he fulfilled his goal, even if it meant costing
him life.
Claudius, the King, was a sneaky and a backstabbing character. He was present
frequently in Act 5, as he was the main plotter in this act. He never wanted to dirty his hands and
made others do work for him. Here, Claudius role was to get rid of Hamlet, and he convinced
Laertes to do so by telling him that Hamlet killed his father. Claudius persuaded Laertes by
falsely giving him trust. For example, he claimed that he couldnt harm Hamlet because he didnt
want to jeopardize the kingdom, as the commoners loved Hamlet and they would have hated the
King if he killed Hamlet. He also told Laertes that he didnt want to jeopardize his marriage, as
Gertrude would be very upset at him for killing Hamlet. These qualities showed the manipulative
qualities of the King as well as his backstabbing qualities. The backstabbing quality was
exhibited early on in the novel, where Hamlet, Sr. died because Claudius killed him in his sleep
to take his throne.
Claudius was mainly greed-driven rather than plain evil. For example, Claudius killed
Hamlet, Sr. because he wanted to hold the power of Denmark. After Hamlet showed his play to
confirm Claudius guilt, Claudius felt insanely guilty and prayed, Then Ill look up; My fault is
past. But, O, what form of prayer can serve my turn? Forgive me for my foul murder? That
cannot be; since I am still possessd of those effects for which I did the murder, my crown, mine
own ambition and my queen. In this sense, Claudius was very cowardly as well, as he
committed the murder and he didnt want to face the consequences, so he prayed to keep him
safe. Also, he made Laertes fight for him to kill Hamlet after he found out that Hamlet was out to
get revenge on him. Shakespeare included this character to show that people who exhibit these
unmanly behaviors lose in the end. Claudius died a very gruesome death, and Shakespeare
intended that to teach the readers a lesson.