The Characterization of the Characters in Hamlet①
William Shakespeare who was English playwright and poet is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. During his life time, he created 16 comedies, 11 tragedies, 10 historical plays and 154 sonnets, some of which were known by nearly everyone such as Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, his great four tragedies. Ben Johnson considered him as a great person who “was not of an age, but for all the time!” All of his plays express a profound dissatisfaction with life. They show the struggle and conflicts between good and evil of that Time, between justice and injustice. In these plays, the writer Shakespeare condemns the dark and evil society. Hamlet is the most popular one among these great tragedies.
The story of Hamlet comes from an old Danish legend.It is mainly about how Hamlet, who represents good and justice, fights against his uncle in whom all the evil things of the time can be seen. Hamlet’s father, the old King has been poisoned to death by his own brother. The new King, that is, Hamlet’s uncle, has married his mother, the Queen. Hamlet wants to revenge for his father. Finally he killed all the enemies and avenges his father. He himself dies a heroic death. William Shakespeare showed his great creative abilities in writing this play. Hamlet is made a hero of the Renaissance period and the representative of humanism. Through him William Shakespeare expressed his own humanist ideas. This play is usually regarded as the summit of William Shakespeare’s art. The characterization of the characters is the most important feature in the play.
According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the word character is “a person, esp. an eccentric or outstanding individual (he’s a real character).”② The term character applies to any individual in a literary work. For the purpose of analysis, characters are customarily described by their relationship...