Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Analysis of Act IV, Scene 2

Until the murder of Polonius, it is possible to see Hamlet as a tragic hero, a noble character who is essentially in the right. After the murder, however, seeing Hamlet in this light becomes much harder. Scene II makes it even more difficult; after hiding the body, Hamlet is not overwhelmed with guilt, as we would expect a hero to be, but is desperate, sarcastic, and self-righteous. Once again, his “fake” insanity seems to be very close to the real thing. Although Hamlet is admirable in many ways, this scene is a strong reminder that he also has very significant personal flaws.

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