Free Hamlet Essays: Father and Son in Hamlet Hamle

t essaysFather and Son in Hamlet

Although they may exhibit some similar traits, all fathers and sons are individuals. They are, or will become, their own man. This development is based on life experience, which is never the same for any two people. In the case of King and Prince Hamlet, this also holds true.

King Hamlet must have been a good father for his son to be so devoted and loyal to him. It almost seems that the Prince made an idol of his father. In Prince Hamlet’s first soliloquy he described his father as an excellent king, a god-like figure and a loving husband. It is strange that the Prince did not convey information about being a loving father. It is left for us to infer that there must have been a special bond between father and son for the Prince to be so willing to carry out retribution against his father’s murderer. Hamlet describes his father in this way:

“See, what a grace was seated on his brow:/ Hyperions curls, the front of Jove himself,/ An eye like Mars, to threaten or command/ A station like the herald Mercury” (Act III,scene IV,55-59)

Prince Hamlet feels a great obligation to carry out the direction of the ghost of his father to avenge his father’s death. Here we see a bit of his conflict. Since there doesn’t seem to be much description of interaction of King and Prince, it is left to us to decide if Hamlet loved his father or he has agreed to avenge the death of his father due to a sense of filial duty.

After the Prince has killed Polonius, the spirit of King Hamlet reappears for the 2nd time to the Prince when he is condemning his mother for her misdeeds. It almost seems like the ghost is acting just like most fathers. He seems to be prodding a too slow child. The ghost reminds Hamlet that he has promised to get revenge for the King’s death.

Prince Hamlet does seem to feel conflict in carrying out the charge. When and how to act and how fast are questions that appear in his mind. What was Prince Hamlet like? In Act III scene 1 (158-162) Ophelia describes him, before his father’s death, as an accomplished man.

“O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!/ The courtier’s, soldier’s scholar’s eye, tongue, sword;/ The expectancy and rose of the fair state,/ The glass of fashion and the mold of form,/ The observ’d of all observers, quite, quite down!

Prince Hamlet changed after the death of his father. He is grief stricken certainly, but also he pretends to be getting increasingly insane to divert suspicion from his real purpose of avenging his father’s death by killing his murderous uncle. He appears melancholy, dejected, solemn and wore dark clothes to fit the mood. He had a wild strange behavior. Because he was intelligent he was able to fool all.


Prince Hamlet seems to hesitate to carry out the revenge he has agreed to perform. Is he just a procrastinator or is he analyzing the situation too much. In the end, it seems an accident of fate precipitates his action. His uncle had planned to use Laertes’ grief for the death of his father and sister as a tool to bring about Hamlet’s death. If his uncle had not plotted with Laertes, Hamlet would possibly have never carried out his charge. He needed a nudge.
As a father son pair, Hamlet and his father are strange, dark characters. But this is a tragedy and all could not end well.