A person’s perception of right and wrong in times of turmoil can easily be mistaken for insane. Hamlet by William Shakespeare is an example of this insane person. Hamlet does what he believes to be right, but almost all the characters see him as crazy. As the play progresses, you are shown the character traits leading to his downfall. This includes his intellect and indecision as well his love of being remembered.
Hamlet’s intelligence is crucial to his downfall. The following is an example of Hamlet’s intellect: “To put a tic disposition on, so that you, at such occasions seeing me.” We see in this quote that Hamlet is making a spectacle of madness in order to hide his knowledge. Hamlet’s excessive analysis leads him to be persecuted for his knowledge by Claudius. Hamlet is acutely aware that he is unable to see the bigger picture. His intelligence is the reason he over-analyses each situation. His intelligence is a factor, he knows the possible outcomes of each situation and thus becomes a man based on thought, not action. You can see his intellect throughout the play. Now, venom! To your work. Hamlet can still think and kill Claudius, even though he is in the midst of his actions. His intellect not only leads him to this point but also allows him to make crucial decisions. Hamlet’s indecisiveness as well as his fear of not being remembered, all of his worries and fears, as well his fear of losing his mind, are all due to his intellect. This excerpt shows how the audience can see where his obsession with being remembered comes from.
“Within one month
You still have the salt of the most unrighteous tear
Her galled eyes had seen the flashing.
She got married
Hamlet’s fear of being forgotten derives from his father’s death. His mother quickly forgot him. Hamlet’s dilemma is how his father, who was so influential, can be forgotten. His unpredictable behavior was the result. This famous line also shows his obsession with being remembered. He still wants his sins to be remembered, even after reflecting on them. Hamlet closes his soliloquy, stating that he still wants to remember his worst sins. Hamlet states his dying wish, “So Tell Him with th’occurets,” which means more and less that have elicited silence. Hamlet attempts to remember his story, but he soon realizes that his actions have resulted in his death. He is driven to remember many things, including his decision to put on the play that lead to Claudius’ persecution. His downfall is due to Hamlets obsession in being remembered.
Hamlet’s inability, in most of his interactions and important moments, to make decisions is a hallmark of the play. His most famous soliloquy is:
“Whether it is nobler to suffer.”
Incredible fortune is found in the slings & arrows
Oder to arm yourself against a sea full of trouble
Hamlet is aware that there are two options available to him, but he cannot decide which one will bring him the best outcome. This is also a glimpse into Hamlet’s inner conflict, his inability as a man to take action and not think. Also see “When he’s fit and ready for his passage?” Take down the sword and you will be a worse hent. Hamlet’s indecision at the crucial moment when he could have taken action to kill Claudius causes him to fail. He could have prevented his poisoning if he had been able to decide to kill Claudius. The soliloquy “Tobe or not to be” also speaks of his thoughts. Hamlet might be acting on knowledge he already knows, by spending his time contemplating suicide. Hamlet prefers to think than take action. Hamlet’s indecisiveness hinders his ability to take action.
Hamlet’s self-inflicted downfall can be attributed primarily to his flaws. His indecision and lack of intelligence is what led to his downfall. He also loves being remembered. All of these aspects of Hamlet’s personality lead to his self-made demise.