There are many factors that lead Hamlet into putting himself in a difficult position. There are many incidents where its not Hamlets poor attitude that gets him in trouble, but his great ambition to uncover the truth. Once Hamlet discovers that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are spying on him, he never lets them out of his sight. Hamlet suspects that his mother, Gertrude, was an accomplice for the murder of his father. Polonius was slain by Hamlet who had mistaken him for Claudius. His pretense of madness drove Ophelia to her death. All of these incidents show that its Hamlets great ambition to uncover the truth that gets himself in difficult positions.
Hamlet would not show mercy even when confronted by his best friends from his childhood. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were sent by the King and Queen to spy on Hamlet to discover the reason for his disturbing behavior. Hamlet isnt fooled by their sudden arrival and gives them a chance to show their loyalty to him by admitting they were sent by the king. “That you must teach me. But let me conjure you by the…. be even and direct with me whether you were sent for or no.” (II-ii.274-278) Hamlet is aware of Rosencrantz and Guildensterns alliance with the king. He sends them to England, replacing the letter that they carried with a forgery of the kings seal stating that the bearers of the letter should be killed. He felt no guilt or remorse for the sudden loss of his two best friends. “They are not near my conscience; their defeat does by their own insinuation grow.” (V-ii.58-59)
Hamlets curiosity caused him to not only suspect his mother, but also kill poor Polonius. He believed Gertrude was an accomplice in the murder of his father.Hamlet has violent outbursts towards his mother. His anger increased as Gertrude misinterpreted the situation. She believed that she was in danger of being assaulted and therefore cries out for help. Hamlet, who was full of rage, runs his dagger through the arras and kills Polonius, mistaking him for Claudius. “O me, what hast tho done/Nay, I know not. Is it the king?” (III-iv.27-28) Hamlet’s passion was furiously aroused, and his words to his mother grew increasingly bitter and sharp. His words acted like daggers that shattered Gertrude’s peace of mind. “Nay, but to live in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, stewed in corruption, honeying and making love over the nasty sty.” (III-iv.92-94)
Hamlet wanted Claudius to think he was insane because he didnt want the king to interfere with his plan to find out the truth about his fathers death. In order for his crafty plan to be successful, he must be certain that he makes no mistakes so his antic disposition remains a secret. Unfortunately, this secret led to the death of Ophelia, the one that Hamlet loves. She had taken her own life, thinking Hamlets love for her vanished with his sanity. Hamlet attacked Ophelia with harsh, verbal remarks. He advises her to go to a brothel and avoid marriage if she can. “If thou dost marry, Ill give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery. Go, farewell” (III-i.133-135). When these words drove Ophelia to her death, Hamlet realized that he was over exerted in carrying out his plan.
Although Hamlet finally achieved vengeance and justice, it is at a terrible cost. Many lives were lost. As each character was presented in the play, all appeared to be good and honest. This makes it a difficult task for Hamlet to uncover the hidden truth about the murder of his father.