Hamlet Essay: Fatal Flaw

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Edward Armstrong
Mr. Gallagher

Fatal Flaw
Throughout Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Hamlet uses his emotions to manipulate people. He fools Ophelia into believing he is madly in love with her, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern into thinking that he is depressed and Polonius into thinking that he is insane. While his controlled array of emotions makes Hamlet appear emotionally stable, they are instead simply an outward display of Hamlet’s tremendous acting ability. In reality, Hamlet is emotionally volatile and uncontrollable. He is unable to find equilibrium and is forced to extremes. Hamlet is either active or passive, moral or amoral. Throughout the play, Hamlet struggles to become proactive, and seems to be willing to sacrifice anything to reach this extreme. His quest to become active causes the downfall of Hamlet’s virtuous self.

Passivity is not a productive trait for a man in Hamlet’s position. For the majority of the play Hamlet employs circuitous routes in order to murder Claudius. Hamlet hatches a plan to find out if the king was the murderer through a play, in which his father’s murder was reenacted. Hamlet waits for the king to admit his guilt before he can get past his passivity and build up the courage to declare revenge. Hamlet is, however, unable to make the transformation into a killer upon Claudius’s admission of guilt. His plan, however crafty, fails to take into account his inability to act. Unfortunately for Hamlet, there is no easy, passive way to kill a king. While Hamlet despises the corrupt ways of his uncle, Shakespeare suggests that Hamlet will have to become more like the king to commit the deed. To murder Claudius , Hamlet needs to shed his old passive ways in exchange for the psyche of a stone cold killer . For Hamlet there is no in between. There is no way he can retain his virtuous ways and murder his uncle. It takes Hamlet the full duration of the play to become corrupt and immoral enough to kill his...
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