Inconsistency in The Character of Hamlet Essay

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Inconsistency in The Character of Hamlet

The perfection of Hamlet’s character has been called in question - perhaps by those who do not understand it. The character of Hamlet stands by itself. It is not a character marked by strength of will or even of passion, but by refinement of thought and sentiment. Hamlet is as little of the hero as a man can be. He is a young and princely novice, full of high enthusiasm and quick sensibility - the sport of circumstances, questioning with fortune and refining on his own feelings, and forced from his natural disposition by the strangeness of his situation.

Hamlet seems incapable of deliberate action, and is only hurried into extremities on the spur of the occasion, when he has no time to
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So he trusts the suggestions of the ghost, contrives the scene of the play to have surer proof of his uncle's guilt, and then is satisfied with this confirmation of his suspicions, and the success of his experiment, instead of acting upon it. Yet he is knowledgeable of his own weakness and tries to reason himself out of it:

"How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast; no more.
Sure he that made us with such a large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unus'd. Now whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th' event, -
A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom,
And ever three parts coward, - I do not know
Why yet I live to say, This thing's to do;
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do 't. Examples, gross as earth, exhort me:
Witness this army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument;

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