Both English and Greek have distinguished themselves in the field of tragedy. In both the languages, tragedy has developed almost independently. Greek tragedy did not have much influence on the development of English tragedy. Apart from some influences of the Roman Classical tragedy of Seneca, tragedy almost indigenously in England. Although tragic plays had been written even before Shakespeare, it was he who gives it its distinguishing features. Shakespeare never bothered himself with any theory of tragedy. We can only gather some idea by a close study of his tragedies. “Hamlet” is one of his master pieces. It has all essential characteristics of a tragedy. Hamlet as a Tragedy:-
As we have remarked earlier Hamlet rises above the average revenge play and answers to subtler demands of a great tragedy. In the end, Hamlet turns out to be a great tragedy rather a mere revenge play.
In his Poetics, Aristotle defines tragedy as:
“The imitation of action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work in a dramatic, not in a narrative form with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.” Melodramatic:-
The first major point common to all Shakespearean tragedies is essentially stirring and often melodramatic. The theme of Hamlet is also stirring and melodramatic. The ghost apparition and in Hamlet are all sensational and melodramatic. Tragic Flow:-
Every Shakespearean hero possessed a tragic trait or a fatal flow in his own character; and it is from the weakness of his character; tragedy occurs. This weakness dominates on Hamlet’s character and leads him to his catastrophe. His habit of too much thinking before taking action leads him to his tragic end.
Bradley rightly remarks that
“Shakespearean tragedy implies the ruin...