This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

The Role of Doubts and Questioning in The Construction of Hamlet's Character

downloadDownload printPrint

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay. We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

Download PDF

The Many Doubts of Hamlet

C.S. Lewis once said that “the world of Hamlet is a world where one has lost one’s way.” This statement has many truths to it for the play opens at midnight, which represents a world where man is essentially lost and filled with doubts. According to Lewis, doubt, along with dread and loneliness, are the feelings the world of Hamlet makes us ponder. These feelings are best expressed by none other than Hamlet, who is an emotional human being who feels guilt, remorse and a sense of responsibility to take revenge of his father’s murder by Claudius. Much of the information we know about Hamlet come from his soliloquies.

A soliloquy is a device often used in drama whereby a character reveals his or her thoughts and feelings to the audience, though not to the other characters in the play. It often creates dramatic irony for the audience is given insight into a character’s thoughts and intentions, all of which is withheld from the others. Hamlet’s soliloquies stand out in particular as fundamental pillars of the play itself. Nearing the end of the first act, Hamlet encounters the alleged ghost of his newly deceased father. It is in Hamlet’s second soliloquy where it is revealed to the audience that he has a number of doubts, one regarding the identity of this spirit. Adhering to his Christian faith, he must determine whether the ghost was sent by the devil or the spirit of his father who came back from purgatory. “…The spirit that I have seen / May be a devil…” (2. 2. 529-530). The manner in which the ghost tells Hamlet to avenge his death is questionable; he makes it seem as though it is an easy task to carry out. Without comforting him and understanding the difficulty of such a task, the ghost could mistakenly appear to be an evil spirit.

This soliloquy also indicates that Hamlet doubts whether taking revenge on his uncle is the proper course of action. Hamlet is well aware that murder is considered a sin in Christianity, which is a key factor in delaying Claudius’ execution. He thus stages a play in hopes that guilt will coax the king into confessing his dreadful deed. The play is a success and Claudius reveals his guilt, though Hamlet still has doubts about his mother. Gertrude marries so quickly after the death of her husband that Hamlet jokes that “The funeral-baked meats / Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.” (1. 2. 180-181). It could easily be thought that Gertrude knew about Claudius’ plan or even had a part in it. His fearful doubts cause him to be sarcastic toward his mother and to develop a poor outlook on women, exclaiming “Frailty, thy name is woman!” (1. 2. 146) during his first soliloquy.

Needless to say, Hamlet’s doubt does more than question the ghost’s motive and the innocence of Claudius and his mother. His unwillingness to act upon the tasks before him indicates that he does not understand what he is fighting for. Hamlet’s father knew why he was fighting Fortinbras senior; to acquire Fortinbras’ land. Claudius knew why he murdered Hamlet’s father; to become the new king of Denmark and win the heart of Gertrude. However, Hamlet does not know why he should kill Claudius and what good will come out of this act. He sees the bigger picture in all that is happening, which reflects his intelligence and morality. Hamlet’s doubts keep us thinking and wondering throughout the play. It is these doubts that assist in setting Hamlet apart from other Shakespearean heroes and make the story a classic for more than three centuries.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

The Role of Doubts and Questioning in the Construction of Hamlet’s Character. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 19, 2022, from
“The Role of Doubts and Questioning in the Construction of Hamlet’s Character.” GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019,
The Role of Doubts and Questioning in the Construction of Hamlet’s Character. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jan. 2022].
The Role of Doubts and Questioning in the Construction of Hamlet’s Character [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jan 03 [cited 2022 Jan 19]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.


    Attention! This essay is not unique. You can get a 100% Plagiarism-FREE one in 30 sec

    Receive a 100% plagiarism-free essay on your email just for $4.99
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!


    Professional writers and researchers


    Sources and citation are provided


    3 hour delivery