Professor Jill Toler
November 22, 2004
In the beginning of the drama, Hamlet appears to be a courteous and thoughtful person, but as we intensify our reading and try to analyze Hamlet's character we come to the conclusion that he is not aware of being actually self-absorbed and ignorant to the fact that his actions can inflict pain on other people. Hamlets character changes noticeably in Act V of the drama, when he reveals his painful heart and apologizes to Leartes. Hamlet is definitely a thinker. He has to analyze and think things over before he allows himself to perform any action. This characteristic shows when he constantly delays to kill Claudius to revenge his father's death. Hamlet also has the ability to manipulate people in being very skilled in word games. He is mostly concerned about getting information out of people to find proof for his father's murder.
It seems like his entire thinking and using people encompasses only his personal desires. He shows no interest in his environment and is not aware that his self-absorbent way of manipulating people causes them pain and conflict. When he kills Polonius, Hamlet does not show any remorse or guilt and is ignorant to the fact that he actually drives Ophelia to madness and suicide over the loss of her father. When Leartes and Hamlet meet for a fencing match, Hamlet has changed. He actually apologized to Leartas for causing him pain in killing his father and expresses his feelings, "That I have shot my arrow o'er his house and hurt my brother" (ACT Vii). He shows deep remorse and feels sick in his heart. It seems that Hamlet woke up and realized that his ignorance has caused great pain for his friend Leartes. In apologizing...