First Impressions of Hamlet


Hamlet first appears in Act I scene II, the most conspicuous feature of him being his attire, dressed completely in black, he is in fact mourning for his late father, the king of Denmark. His mother has married the newly crowned monarch, Old Hamlets brother and Hamlets uncle, by name Claudius. His dress is used by Shakespeare not just to put across to us the actual fact that he is mourning for his father but to convey many things about his character that my not be gained as intricately from listening to his speech. Hamlet is firstly discontented in himself by the fact of his father is death has brought upon him this feeling of poignancy that has given him the intuition that ‘there is something rotten in the state of Denmark’ something which is referred to a number of times throughout the first scene and will continue to be a Major theme in this play.


Hamlets intuition that something is erroneous sets him apart from the rest of the characters as well as his dress, he seems to be cunning and obviously very intelligent by the very methods he sets out to catch the killer of his father or actually to substantiate the guiltiness of his uncles fratricidal nature .


Claudius comments of Hamlets impractical mourning , believing that his energy’s would be channelled more effectively towards getting on with life and his study’s just as Claudius himself is cementing his position as the diplomatic king of Denmark by writing to Fortimbras of Norway are on the surface seeming to be true but mourning of Old Hamlet is the underlying reason for Hamlets pledged avenging of Claudius, the killer and Hamlet although becoming obsessed with proving Claudius’ guilt goes through very practical methods Such as his proposed Antic disposition which will presumably be the eventual downfall of Claudius and maybe Indirectly the end of Hamlet through this slightly eccentric and obsessive behaviour. He seems to be a very enigmatic character , not in relation to us as a reader as we can see the bigger picture , to others though no one seems to know what he is doing and why adding to a feeling of high intellect to him as he is getting what he wants by manipulating people through his speech and by his actions , such as the Antic Disposition he adopts , this he thinks will give him an insight to people that he wouldn’t see if they thought he was sane ,an eccentric yet intelligent theory.


The complicity and depths of his character reflect heavily on his personality, Hamlet is extremely philosophical and contemplative we see this in his first soliloquy asking questions to himself about his mother and uncle, perhaps trying to find a reason that he will finally be content with yet his intuition plagues him to the point of obsession even after being so philosophical about the situation. . He is particularly drawn to difficult questions or questions that cannot be answered with any certainty. Faced with evidence that his uncle murdered his father, evidence that any other character in a play would believe, Hamlet becomes obsessed with proving his uncle\'s guilt before trying to act but in contrast to his composed behavior that is somewhat beyond his years we are


reminded that he is still a young man through his un rational conduct, for example his lack of reservations about being alone and following the ghost without knowing for sure what it is but again this intuition is leading him around and causing him to act obsessively and now with impulsiveness giving us another side to hamlet and not just a 1 dimensional view. But, despite all of the things with which Hamlet professes dissatisfaction, it is remarkable that the prince and heir apparent of Denmark should think about these problems only in personal and philosophical terms. He spends relatively little time thinking about the threats to Denmark\'s national security from without or the threats to its stability from within such as Claudius.


Hamlet in court seems to be quite disrespectful towards the monarch, his uncle for example


“How is it that the clouds still hang on you?”
“Not so, my lord, I am too much in the sun.” The sarcasm