Do not simply read the lines of the character that you have to analyze. By reading the entire play you will be able to get the overall perspective of not only Hamlet but also of the play itself. You will also be able to understand what is going on. From Act I to Act V, you should be able to map Hamlet’s quest for revenge and the subsequent circumstances that lead to the prince of Denmark’s death.
Hamlet's lines will require a few hours of perusal in order to be deciphered. In the beginning of the play, Hamlet is a moody young man still grieving his father’s death and not that happy about his mother’s second marriage. Is his descent into plotting revenge after seeing his father’s ghost all that surprising? While pretending to be mad does Hamlet actually become mad? Is Hamlet too focused on the here and now, or does he ever consider the far-reaching consequences of his actions?
Hamlet has his own way to interpreting what is going on around him but do not let his biased opinion be your only guide. Sometimes by looking through the eyes of the other characters you will be able to pick up a few clues here and there about the character you have to analyze. However, you should remember that those characters could just be seeing what Hamlet wants them to see, as well letting you know how Hamlet’s behavior is affecting the kingdom.
Analyzing can be made easier by giving yourself questions to answer. One very important question while reading Hamlet, is to ask yourself what did Hamlet accomplish? How many lives were destroyed or lost because of the way Hamlet set about seeking his revenge. Among those lost were poor Ophelia, who was driven into sorrow by Hamlet’s rejection, which turned to madness after the death of her father at the prince’s hands. There was also Queen Gertrude, who drank the poisoned cup meant for her son by accident but managed to warn him of the danger before she died.
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