When you peel the layers of Hamlet’s character, you find flashes of genius intertwined with indifference, madness, and ruinous rashness. His advice to the players is dead on. The moment where he confides in his close friend Horatio, give me that man that is not passions slave and I will wear him in my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart, as I do thee gives us wonderful insight into the virtues of friendship and temperance. He sheds light on the fact that we as humans are led by our passions which very oft lead us down dangerous paths. Hamlet asserts, there’s a divinity that shapes our ends; rough-hew them how we will. So God guides our destiny, with us having an equal share of power, and we mortals oft act carelessly with monumental decisions. This carelessness we [often unconsciously] perform can often make us feel powerless and indifferent to our existence. Hamlet feels crippled by the lack of influence he feels that he has on his very life. He loses all his mirth and refers to Denmark as a prison; as loathing our own station in life, yet being too complacent to change. Such a soul is Hamlet. He simply refuses to leave. When he escapes execution on his way to England, he chooses to come back to his prison. His mind is infatuated with revenge; revenge for his father’s tragic death. He is in love with the idea of killing King Claudius, but not actually doing it. He makes an excuse even when having the perfect opportunity; Claudius on his knees praying. Hamlet was not resolute. Hamlet promises to the Ghost, “thy commandment all alone shall live within the book and volume of my brain unmix’d with baser matter,” yet this conflicts with his very own paradigm, “conscience doth make cowards of us all.”
Hamlet can’t prove to anyone that Claudius killed his father, yet Hamlet still vexes the King’s conscience to such a fever-pitch that the King feels like he has no choice but to kill Hamlet off himself. But, even when he gets back from being held captive at sea, he still delays. It’s not till Hamlet realizes that he’s going to die from the poisoned foil, and that it’s now or never, that he then does what we thought he could never do; act. Hamlet’s madness was fueled by nervous energy incited as a result of being privy to the truth of his father’s murder. He couldn’t act normal knowing what he knew. It weighed on his mind to the point of paralyzation. He often over thought or didn’t think at all but rarely a happy medium.