The character of Hamlet, although an archaic prince, demonstrates so many base human experiences and emotions. The motifs of experiencing loss, dealing with grief, coming of age and trying to claim a place in the world, are not constricted to any time period, culture or societal class. Madness is an occurrence of the masses. Any person could become afflicted by the “single minded and tragically doomed search for” identity after a certain course of events (Erikson 239). The play deals largely with the multiple faces of Hamlet. The complexity of the roles he holds centers largely into the plot. He is an avenger, prince, son, friend, suitor and more. In order to maintain the multiplicity of his identity, which he possesses as “the combined
…show more content…
Lost love, revenge, familial betrayal, war, suicide and a sense of duty figure into the experiences of the young characters. Erik Erikson identifies Hamlet with youth and an “abortive ideological leader”(Erikson 258). Hamlet has been denied his assumed right to the throne, the possibility of returning to his studies and his love. His purpose in life has been removed leaving him with only youthful ideals that are being shattered by the reality that people act often for personal gain instead of for what is just and reasonable. Ophelia’s rejection, his mother’s betrayal and his uncle’s wickedness facilitate the progress Hamlet’s disappointment. His broken idealism and struggle for identity as he comes of age help reveal to the reader part of the inner Hamlet.
Hamlet is also largely an intellectual. He masters conversation with his rhetoric, he is somewhat of a romantic and he is a cunning actor. “No audience…can escape the feeling that he is a man of superior conscience, and advanced, in fact, beyond the legal concepts of his time which would have permitted him to take revenge without scruples”(237). Hamlet gains a novel apperception after being visited by his father’s ghost. He is then, as Erikson mentions, constricted in his actions for revenge. He is however a master of words. For example he easily spins his mother’s accusation that he has “thy father much offended” to shift the fault onto her (3.4.10). His way with words is