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Is Hamlet a noble hero?
Transcript of Is Hamlet a noble hero?
Why would an audience feel unsympathetic to Hamlet?
How does the audience feel about his opening soliloquy?
Gertrude and Ophelia
How does Hamlet treat the women in this play?
Examples of nobility
Hamlet's behaviour could be forgiven due to the series of dramatic events that he endured.
"For he was likely, has he been put on, to have proved to be most royal" - Fortinbras
Hamlet appears to be ruthless when it comes to the death of people he once held dearly.
Is Hamlet a noble* hero?
Bitterness, cruelty and cynicism
Can his behaviour be excused due to the stress and strain of the state of affairs?
*Having or showing qualities of high moral character, such as courage, generosity, or honor: a noble spirit.
We must acknowledge his complexity and flaws, as we can see that he is an essentially noble character.
The audience is unimpressed with the level of his disillusionment and self-pity.
Hamlet does little to warm himself to the audience and his statements are over-dramatic.
Gertrude: cruel and callous. He disapproves of her relationship with Claudius. His obsession with their relationship is a strange and disturbing aspect to his mentality.
Ophelia: his treatment of her is inhuman. He doubts her integrity and denies ever loving her. He denounces all women and leaves her feeling bewildered and dejected.
"A rash and bloody deed". There is no justification to this murder. Hamlet does not regret or show remorse for his action.
Rosencratz and Guildenstern
: Hamlet sends them to their deaths without allowing their sins to be forgiven. This shows his ruthless nature.
Hamlet's behaviour at the burial scene reflects poorly on him. He appears to envy Laertes's grief and tries to fight him at the graveside.
There is evidence of his nobility:
He has an
of his father.
He has a l
ove of drama and conversation.
He seeks Laertes's
He prevents Horatio from
Characters refer to his nobility throughout the play showing his past has been morally sound.
The audience comes to admire Hamlet avenging his father's death. He rids Denmark of its primary source of corruption.
Hamlet gains revenge in an open and public manner. The audience respects Hamlet because his honour prevents him from succumbing to Claudius's immoral ways.
Hamlet is an imperfect hero who, at times, comes close to alienating the audience. He manages to win out favour by his honourable and decisive actions at the close of the play.
English Key Notes
, Mentor Books