Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

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Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
By William Shakespeare

Submitted by: Tariq Khan
Dated: Monday, 24th September, 2012

Hamlet as a Tragedy by William Shakespeare

1.1. Brief Introduction to Tragedy: Greek and English: Elizabethan tragedy is traced back to Greek tragedy, since Greeks are said to have pioneered the Western knowledge, be it Science, Arts, or Humanities—not necessarily Technology. The rich contribution of Greek dramatists like Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus and Aristophanes, is noteworthy, towards the development of both Roman and English Drama. Though Roman Drama could not thrive much as to invite the attention of Western audience, but English Drama excelled in Elizabethan Age (due to the royal patronage), with University Wits, on the one hand, and particularly William Shakespeare, on the other. It was Shakespeare who mastered (as is evident from his oeuvre) the classical convention of drama and challenged them in his dramas—especially tragedies. Though, the origin and roots of tragedy seems to be one, yet the differences are there in Greek and Shakespearean tragedies in many respects. Firstly, the Greek tragedy follows the classical convention of three unities: unity of time, unity of space, and unity of action; whereas the Shakespearean drama does not follow such rules. Secondly, Greek tragedy lay main emphasis on destiny than on the action of protagonist (Oedipus Rex—a model Greek tragedy); Shakespearean tragedy spotlights the Hamartia (error of judgement or a tragic flaw, though minor in nature), reason for the adversity of a tragic hero. Thirdly, Greek tragedy revolves round one person called protagonist whereas Shakespearean tragedy has an array of characters, each contributing to the tragic the flaw of a hero. Fourthly, Greek tragic hero never dies once, but meets death every time in his life span in the shape of punishment being incurred upon him, in the wake of his Hamartia. Shakespeare’s tragic hero faces his doom, once and for...
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