Characterization of Hamlet in Act IV
Hamlet has revealed himself to the audience now in Act IV that he his human and is imperfect too. His desire for revenge on his father, Old Hamlet has taken the best of him and he has now committed murder just as Claudius had done to his father. Although some might sympathize with Hamlet, his nonchalant and witty form after being confronted about the murder of Polonius makes the audience take a second look at Hamlet’s character.
Hamlet was extremely rude to his mother in Act III in confrontation with Gertrude about marrying Claudius, and in conversation, he overhears Polonius behind the arras and kills him. At the start of Act IV, Gertrude is hysterical over what Hamlet has done, and she knows very well that he has feigned insanity, and yet she protects him. Unfortunately when confronted by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet portrays a person who sincerely doesn’t care that he has killed Polonius. In fact he refuses to tell them where the body is, being sarcastic and witty in reference to how Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have acted.
Once Rosencrantz and Guildenstern bring Hamlet to Claudius his way clever and witty ways don’t stop. Hamlet continues to be sarcastic in the forms of riddles every time Claudius asks him where the body of Polonius is. He tells Claudius “at supper” and “in heaven” or hell, implying that Claudius should go look for him there. Although it would be expected that he would fear what is to come after murdering someone, he is in fact somewhat excited, and upon hearing that he will be going to England.
Hamlet character is opposite of what one would normally expect, he reveals himself to the audience as someone other than what has previously been seen. He appears to not care about what he has done, compared to the angry, revengeful, and confused Hamlet from previous Acts. And although he didn’t kill Claudius, perhaps in killing Polonius, he has some sense of what murdering someone does, and he...