Hamlet was a man that looked up to his father throughout his life, during and after his father’s death. The younger Hamlet tried to follow in his father’s footsteps, but as much as they were alike, they were very much different. The man named Hamlet had a son named Hamlet and after everything was over, that is one of the few things that they had in common. 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 is true.
Hamlet looked up to his father because he felt that he was a great leader and the bravest man that he knew, as Hamlet mentioned in Act 1, Scene 11, Line 149, “So excellent a king.” He wanted to be so much like him, but couldn’t because of a couple of barriers that he had to deal with. He became a lot like his father in the end.
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.
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, and wore dark clothes to fit the mood. He had a wild strange behavior. Because he was intelligent he was able to fool all.
Hamlet was very disappointed with his life because he knew become king was one thing that he didn’t have in common with his father, because his stepfather was king, as mentioned in 1, 11, 151-2, “married with my uncle, My father’s brother.” Hamlet was very upset by his mother’s marriage, and as he learns later, his father was as well, as said in 1, II, 157-8, “It is not nor it cannot come to good: But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue”. The ghost of Hamlet’s father advises him in 1, V, 82-3, “Let not the royal bed of Denmark be a couch for luxury and damned incest”.
They both shared the hatred towards Claudius, the King and Prince Hamlet. Hamlet expresses his hatred in 1, V, 106, 108-9, “O villain, villain that one may smile and be a villain; At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark.” The ghost gives his hatred in 1, V, 38-9, 42, “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life Now wears his crown. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast.”
Prince Hamlet feels a great obligation to carry out the direction of the ghost of his father to avenge his father’s death. This is where 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 final duty.
Hamlet does become as brave as his father when he kirs the king, his stepfather, when the plot of the king to kill Hamlet goes wrong, and the Queen drinks the poisoned drink herself. Hamlet does not leave a legacy, as did his father before he died, leading to another conflicting aspect between Hamlet and his father.
The final comparison and contrast that they have is that they are both dead, but the road to their death was different. Hamlet’s father was slain in a plot created by Claudius. The ghost reveals the circumstances of his death in 1, V, 61-4, “thy uncle stole juice of cursed hebona porches of my ears did pour the leperous distillment.” Hamlet committed suicide after his mother and stepfather was dead. Hamlet did this act in V, 11, 312, “Give me the cup: let go, by heaven, I’ll ha’t.”
Hamlet and his father led different lives, with some comparisons to themselves. They both ended up together dead. This was the ultimate trait that they have in common. As a father- son pair, Hamlet and his father are dark strange characters, and since this was a tragedy this couldn?t possibly end well.