Arguably, Hamlet is one of the most complex characters ever built by Shakespeare, as he indubitably makes use of several different personas. Readers are drawn in by the heir to Denmark’s intensity. Known for being enormously contradicting, neither readers nor the play’s characters know what Hamlet will spring upon them next. While being powerfully reckless, uncivil, and brutal, he is also very cautious, well-spoken, and feeble, which is what makes his insanity plea towards others so believable. Hamlet increasingly becomes more cruel to the naive and dainty Ophelia. In fact, he uses her as an outlet for his animosity towards his mother, the queen, until he assembles enough courage to become barbarous to her as well.
Furthermore, there are certain personas Hamlet employs throughout his endeavors, whether it is his ongoing insanity, everlasting cruelness, or his true self. To start, there is ample evidence that Hamlet knowingly deceives others that he is deranged. He does this in order to perplexe several characters, however, he mainly directs his insane appearance towards Claudius and Polonius. It can be said that Hamlet pretends to be insane so that when he murders King Claudius out of pure vengeance, he will not be a suspect. In order to do this however, Hamlet knows he must get through the king’s trusted companions first. After a period of time where Hamlet goes back and forth between confusing and demeaning phrases Polonius, the king’s advisor, is the first to officially announce Hamlet has unhinged.
The heir chose to use this term in order to taunt Polonius in more ways than one. In retrospect, Hamlet calls his elder a “fishmonger” to aid in further proving his insane state of mind, as if he perceives him as a complete stranger. Additionally, using the phrase also gives Hamlet the power to insult Polonius and further get inside his head by saying he protrudes where he is not needed, or welcome, because he smells like a fish. Hamlet’s relationships start changing with not only those close to him but also with Guildenstern and his sidekick Rosencrantz.
Once Hamlet learns of their dishonest intentions, he becomes livid and sees red. Hamlet said this in order to further disarray Guildenstern who undoubtedly reports back to Polonius and the king. By comparing himself to a pipe, Hamlet shows his old companion that he will not be made a fool of, or taken advantage of. Moreover, Hamlet uses his insane persona in order to be one step ahead of everyone so he will not be suspect of King Claudius’ death.With no doubt, a main component of Hamlet’s persona shown throughout the play is cruelty. Not only is he increasingly mentally abusive to those he loves, but also physically abusive. Many a times during his arguments with Ophelia or even his mother, he becomes physically abusive which unquestionably takes a toll on the women’s mental state. It can be established that Hamlet takes his rage out on Ophelia for Gertrude’s hasty decisions in marrying so quickly after his father’s death.
Basically calling Ophelia a whore, Hamlet cannot help himself as he feels betrayed by his former lover in that she was found to be aiding Claudius and Polonius in spying on him. He continues to make use of his cruel persona throughout the ending of the tale, which also helps in his argument of insanity. As if losing his father was not enough, Hamlet’s exceptional grief is intensified by the lack of remorse his mother shows after marrying her former husband’s brother less than two months after his death. To Hamlet, Gertrude’s act of betrayal is what tortures his very being, and is a driving force towards his overbearing cruelty. The ever-famous closet scene in Hamlet is sure to be non-forgettable. In this scene, Hamlet is seen both verbally and physically abusing his mother, which also reveals his perverted sexual desires. He says this as a warning that if she continues to stay with her new husband, there will be horrible consequences and he will see to it that they come.
Therefore, Hamlet’s cruel persona is what changes the plot of the play when he starts becoming ruthless to those who care for him.Throughout the play, Shakespeare enables Hamlet in using soliloquies, and also confiding in his longtime companion, Horatio. This is to show that beyond Hamlet’s insane and cruel composure, his true self has the ability to shine through either when he is alone or with someone he could trust with his life. Horatio is arguably one of the few people Hamlet releases his intentions and future endeavors to. He exposes his true self to Horatio in the graveyard scene after having a revelation about life. This is the moment Hamlet realizes that no matter your social status everyone ends up in the same place, which means one should make the best of their life because death is the ultimate equalizer.
Hamlet uses his true self persona when he talks to Horatio due to the fact that he trusts him immensely. Another moment in the play that reveals his true thoughts would be in the widely-known “to be or not to be” speech. As a matter of fact, this is where Hamlet lets the audience and readers know he is contemplating suicide. This remains as a reflection of his true self because as a soliloquy, Hamlet is only talking to himself and one can imagine that he would not attempt to trick or deceive himself. All in all, Hamlet makes use of his true self with not only himself, but also Horatio, and is one of the very scattering moments the audience can experience after what precedent Hamlet feels.Finally, Hamlet uses several different personas in order to divert those around him. By pretending to be insane, Hamlet causes a ruckus among the councilman and townspeople. In moments of cruelness and brutality Hamlet deeply affects those who care for him, completely altering their mindsets.
It is not until Hamlet does his soliloquy or talks to those he trusts does the audience hear how he truly feels. Conclusively, the tale of Hamlet is surely one to be characterized as a dramatic and persona filled play in which the title character uses several different personas in the play.