To Be King or Not To Be King: The Mental Evolution of Hamlet

Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet is actually a conglomeration of many subtragedies. One of these smaller tragedies within the story of Hamlet is the mental evolution of Prince Hamlet, to the point where he acted king-like and would have made a great king. Throughout the story there are many leadership qualities seen in the character of Hamlet that give the reader (or audience) the impression that he would be a great king. Likewise, there are many qualities seen in Hamlet that give the reader the impression that he would not have made a great king, until the end of the story.

When we first meet Hamlet in Act 1 scene ii, he is downhearted, distraught, and depressed, not so much over his father's death, but over his mother's remarriage so quickly to his Uncle Claudius, who is now the King of Denmark. In this scene, Hamlet seems to have the mentality of an adolescent boy who is not getting his way. When Claudius forbids him to go back to France, he reluctantly agrees. When he is left alone, he immediately begins a violently emotional speech in which he says that he wishes he were dead, complains that suicide is a sin, describes the world as useless and disgusting. He then comes to the cause: his father's death. His...

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