Hamlets Tragic Flaw

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Hamlet’s Tragic Flaw

It is better not to put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Many consequences can arise when one procrastinates. An example of this is found in Shakespeare’s Hamlet through the depiction of the central character. Although Hamlet is characterized as daring, brave, loyal, and intelligent, he is overwhelmed by his own conscience. The tragic hero is defined as one whose downfall is brought about due to their tragic flaw. Hamlet’s inability to act on his father’s murder, his mother’s marriage, and his uncle assuming of the thrown are all evidence of his tragic flaw of procrastination. “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” demands the ghost in (Act I, Scene 5, line 23). The fact that his own uncle could kill his father leaves Hamlet enraged and confused. Although Hamlet knows something is wrong in Denmark, he begins to question everything that the ghost has told him. In this scenario that calls for quick decisive behavior, Hamlet is too busy thinking. An example of this is seen in Act III, when Hamlet has his knife over the head of Claudius, prepared to murder him, and talks himself out of it. Instead, Hamlet writes a play in which the actors play out the same story the ghost tells Hamlet. His plan is to study Claudius’s reaction to the play to determine his guilt. Even after Hamlet decides his uncle is guilty, Hamlet fails to take immediate action. This would have been a prime opportunity to confront Claudius, but Hamlet seems more interested in patting himself on the back than seeking revenge.

Throughout the play Hamlet is deeply hurt by his mother’s decision to remarry his uncle. As Hamlet so boldly states “Frailty thy name is woman” the reader realizes her actions cause Hamlet to curse women all together (Act 1, Scene 2, Line 146). In the first Act, Claudius and Gertrude question Hamlet’s depression. They push Hamlet to accept his...
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