How Shakespeare Portray Hamlet as a Rainbow personality

Roy T. Bennett, said well;
“It takes sunshine and rain to make a rainbow. There would be no rainbows without sunshine and rain.”

So true, in our daily life’s, we often come across some individual who embrace a rainbow natured personality, that is developed as a result of going through many challenges in life, and facing many positive or negative complexities in life.

At times, it feels that life in literature is somewhat a shadow of real human life as it reveals many realistic elements which we witness in our daily lives. Let’s take an example of William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.  In this play, the protagonist of play – who is a title character himself – is been portrayed as a round character.

Throughout the play, we see his multiple yet very significant aspects such as; an avenger, philosopher, actor, ironic observer, disgusted observer, and an indecisive man.  Jst like rainbow contains multiple colors, similarly we saw different variations in hamlet’s character, and he also develop this personality after perceiving the doze of sunshine and rain.

Ironically, the sunshine was excessively hot that it shatters his personality. He said in act 1 – i am too much in the sun” readers can figure out the deepness of this statement as we can imagine what teriible incident he had been through in the beginning of play.

Let’s throw light on few examples of each aspect in Hamlet;

1. Hamlet as Avenger:
“Haste, haste me to know it, that I with wings as swift as meditations, or the thoughts of love

May sweep to my revenge”
            (Act 1, scene 5)

(This statement he made just after learning the most shocking truth of his life that his father was murdered; when ghost ask him to take revenge then he became eager and passionate to revenge his father’s death though the culprit’s name has not been revealed yet)

“And thy commandment all alone shall live ………………. So uncle there you are;
 Now to my word …… remember me, I have sworn”
                            (Act 1, scene 5)

(Hamlet sounds typical avenger in this soliloquy just after ghost exits. Now he decided how to avenge King Claudius for his father’s death)

2. Hamlet as an Actor; Self-critical & Self-directed
“To put an antic disposition on: that you at such times seeing me, never shall
With arms encumbered us, …………………. That you know aught of me; this not to do; so grace

 And mercy at your most need help you”
          (Act 1, scene 5)

(In these lines, Hamlet speaks both as an actor, and as a self-directed person. He tells the audience and readers that from now onwards, he’ll pretend mad until and unless he doesn’t get Claudius exposed for his late father’s murder. He is directing himself for when to carry this avatar)

Another example of Hamlet’s self-direction is found in his long soliloquy in act 2 when he said;

     “I’ll have these players, play something like the murder of my father, ……...
I’ll observe his looks; I’ll tent him to the quick; …………. The play is the thing, wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king”
(Since, the purpose of Hamlet’s pretended madness was to expose Claudius, he arranged the play of “Murder of Gonzalo” to make Claudius guilt, thus these lines can be said an example of Hamlet’s self-direction as he is planning how to carry the entire plan)

3. Hamlet as an Ironic observer
“For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion …… let her not walk I’ th’ sun”

(Act 2, scene 2)

(Hamlet has used very abusive language in these lines. His mocking attitude towards Polonius and his daughter reveals hamlet as disgusted as well as ironic observer)

“For the satirical slave says here, that old man have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber ……………. You could go backwards”
                          (Act 2, scene 2)
 (This entire speech is spoken by Hamlet while talking with Polonius. Hamlet’s attitude is very bitter and ironic towards him and his daughter Ophelia)

4. Hamlet an Indecisive man: desperate to be decisive:
Hamlet’s indecisive element, his delay in revenge, or inability to act in play becomes prominent in his famous soliloquy “to be or not to be” where he said;

                   “To be or not to be, that is the question: whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer …………. Or to take arms against sea of troubles, and by opposing end them: to die to sleep”

           (Act 3, scene 1)

Though Hamlet’s biggest flaw is his indecisiveness, yet at some places (in some acts) we found him desperate to be decisive and take his revenge. Like he said;
              “I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records, all saws of books, all forms, all pressure past, ……… and thy commandment all alone shall live within the book and volume of my brain”
                                    (Act 1, scene 5)

This article is a submission by Annie Jack, a child psychologist and a freelance writer at Assignment Help Online. She makes valuable contributions in Health journals and she advocates impartiality strongly in his writings.

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