My Rating: 5 Stars
This was the first play I read from Shakespeare and to this day, it's my absolute favourite. For me, this is play is one of the most brilliant.
The characters are very complex even we the reader thinks he was everyone figured out. In Hamlet, we have the tragic hero trying to deal with his beloved father's death and the marriage of his recently-widowed mother to his uncle, Claudius. When he's confronted by the ghost of his father, Hamlet's struggles with his duty: to avenge his father by killing his uncle. The way I analysed it, Hamlet knows that killing his father's killer is part of his responsibility as the heir of the king and his honour demands it, but at the same time, he knows that his soul will be condemned to hell if he goes through with it. Being so deeply involved in his inner turmoil, Hamlet fails to notice the growing depressive state of his once beloved Ophelia, daughter of Polonius and sister of Laertes.
Claudius is the villain of this plot and is driven by the need to be the centre of attention. The way I see it, the murder he committed wasn't just for power, but also to stop being the shadow of his brother. It might be my interpretation but I would say Claudius was already in love with Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, motivating his actions even more.
Hamlet's mother is the picture of the naive and unaware woman that doesn't grasp the gravity of the situation and refuses to see her new husband for that he is. I think that she is in deep denial and the fact that she married so soon is a sign that didn't really deal with her first husband's death. She is determined to move on, even if it costs the relationship with her son. Gertrude clearly favours Claudius and at some point even considers Hamlet to be mad.
In the end, Hamlet's tragedy sets in motion the tragedies of the other characters, including Laertes, who plays a key role in the end of the play.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.