Jumpstart Your Paper

Browse our Free Essay examples and check out our Writing tools to get your assignments done.

Hamlet as a Selfish Jerk

5 page
Solution Available NOW
English (U.S.)
Total cost:
$ 16


The Hamlet paper has a minimum required length of five full double-spaced pages, and critical sources and a Works Cited page are mandatory.  Quoting from the text in the body of the paper is mandatory.  The good news is that there are no requirements about content other than that the paper is about Hamlet and argues a thesis.  If you are having trouble coming up with a thesis, contact me and I will help you come up with one.  Since the Hamlet paper is the assignment where students most frequently fail on plagiarism, I should remind you one last time that a) if you plagiarize, I will catch you, and it is an automatic “F” with no do-overs, and b) there is no logical reason to plagiarize — just put quotation marks around the stuff you were going to steal and cite it as research.  I should also remind you, just so no-one can say they weren’t warned, that if you don’t do the Hamlet paper, you fail the entire course.  Lastly, since some of you have copies of Hamlet that have the fake modernized words on facing pages from the real words, please be careful that when you are quoting from the text, you do not accidentally quote the fake words instead of the real words, as there will be heavy penalties for doing so.


If you are having trouble coming up with a thesis, some good ideas to explore are…


--Does Hamlet’s view of reality / human nature / religion change over the course of the play?  How and why?


--How guilty or innocent do you think Gertrude is, and why?


--Is Hamlet an admirable hero, or just a selfish jerk who happens to speak extremely eloquently?


--Does Hamlet have a specific, identifiable “tragic flaw” like other Shakespearean tragic protagonists do (e.g., Othello’s is jealousy, Julius Caesar’s is pride, Macbeth’s is ambition, etc.), and if so, what would we call it?


--Is there a message about religion in Hamlet, and if so, what is it?


--Hamlet himself is pretty sexist, but is the play itself sexist or feminist?


--What is the play’s message about the relationship between life and art?  Or art and religion?  Or all three?


--Do you believe the “Ophelia is pregnant” theory?  If so, what was Shakespeare’s point in doing this?  How does this interpretation affect the message/meaning of the play overall?


--Hamlet can be overly didactic and make things more complicated than they need to be, but is he ever just wrong?  Do you think Shakespeare intended us to agree with or believe everything Hamlet says, or did the Bard want us to view his melancholy prince more skeptically?  In short, does Hamlet speak for Shakespeare himself, yes or no?






Hamlet as a Selfish Jerk

The debate on Hamlet’s character questions whether he is a hero or a dishonorable person. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet begins the play as a virtuous individual with good behavioral attributes; nonetheless, as the plot develops, he becomes selfish and a perpetrator of wickedness, maintaining only a few of his initial heroic individualities. At the end of Hamlet, an analysis of Hamlet cast doubts on his nobility, making it possible to highlight his shortcomings, for instance, his evil actions towards other characters. During most of the play, Hamlet focuses on revenging his father's demise; nonetheless, in his bid to satisfy his aim, he depicts his self-centeredness, for example, he delays in exercising retribution on Claudius, kills Polonius and abuses Ophelia. His actions towards other people to attain his objectives makes readers wonder, is Hamlet an admirable hero, or just a selfish jerk who happens to speak extremely eloquently?

Hamlet is a self-interested villain since he kills more people by his hand than Claudius, a character Shakespeare portrays as an evil murderer throughout the play. According to Shakespeare, unlike Claudius, who kills one person, Hamlet directly participates in murders of three individuals and makes arrangements for additional deaths of two minor characters; Guildenstem and Rosencrantz. He shows no remorse as he commissions his friends’ deaths, “…. ‘Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes / Between the pass and fell incensed points / Of mighty opposites” (Hamlet 5.2.3710-715). Hamlet underlines his murderous traits as he forces Claudius to drink from a poisoned cup despite knowing that his demise was imminent from his infected sword. In the play, he justifies his actions under the guise that he was seeking revenge; however, in his goal, he involves innocent people such as Polonius, Guildenstem, and Rosencrantz. From these descriptions, Hamlet underpins his selfish nature as he instigates unnecessary bloodshed to seek retribution. Not only does he show his selfishness by killing more people than Claudius but also he is responsible for Ophelia’s demise.

Hamlet’s degrading moral values in his relationship with Ophelia shows that he is a selfish person who prioritizes his needs over those of others. Shakespeare posits that he mistreats her as Hamlet tells Ophelia that “… If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry / be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape / calumny. Get thee to a nunnery” (Hamlet 3.1.1830). Hamlet’s treatment of his companion proves that he is not a gentleman but a chauvinist, for example, he tells her she does not possess qualities of a wife, and that she will always have a maligned...


Not exactly what you need?

Do you need a custom essay? Order right now:
Related Topics:

Soliloquy in Hamlet

Make a Soliloquy in Ophelia’s point of view answering this question. “How does Ophelia feel about the lack of control she has in her own life?”

Elements in Hamlet Discussion

Choose and discuss two comical or farcical elements in Hamlet.

Research Paper on Hamlet

Research Paper needs to have academic sources and at least 3 pieces of evidence from each of these sources. Topic for paper is flexible but needs to be for the play, Hamlet (an example paper would talk about deception/betrayal or about the significance of the soliloquies). Please provide works cited....

The Play Hamlet and The Godfather

3-5 citations comparing the film, The Godfather and the play, Hamlet.  Must include a works cited page as a fifth page in MLA.  Must have thesis statement as last line of intro paragraph.  Thesis statement should be about the similarities of Hamlet and The Godfather.

Oedipus the King & Hamlet

Write 2 pages thesis on the topic a comparison and contrast of: oedipus the king & hamlet. Running Head: Oedipus the King & Hamlet A Comparison and Contrast of: Oedipus the King & Hamlet goes here Books Comparison and Contrast Professor Name of you professor Oedipus the King by Sophocles...

Significance Of Hamlets Ghost Scenes

Complete 4 pages APA formatted article: Significance Of Hamlets Ghost Scenes. Hamlet’s ghost scenes need to be studied through multi-colored lenses if only to allow for an expansive view of the same. It can be agreed that spirits possess intermediary potential between man and God but are enemies of virtue...

Soliloquies in Hamlet

The work is to be 4 pages with three to five sources, with in-text citations and a reference page. At the beginning of Act IV, Hamlet is informed by the Captain that the Norwegian Army under the command of Prince Fortinbras is going to invade some parts of Poland. When...