Tragic Flaw of Hamlet

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Tragic Flaw of Hamlet

A tragic flaw is the excess of a particular weakness that affects how a character act and how he thinks, and eventually leads to his downfall. In ¡°Hamlet¡± by William Shakespeare, the young prince is not able confront Claudius because the he has not been able to conquer himself in his internal conflict. This recalls the clich¨¦, ¡°One¡¯s greatest enemy is no other than oneself.¡± Hamlet¡¯s angst becomes most evident when procrastinating. Procrastination is the inaction that leads to Hamlet¡¯s downfall and behind the inaction there were three main flaws: being idealistic, being fatalistic, and being over analytical.

To begin with, Hamlet¡¯s idealism stops him from avenging the murder of his father, when he has the opportunity to kill his uncle when he is praying. ¡°Am I then revenged to take him in the purging of his soul, when he is fit and seasoned for his passage? No. Up sword, and know thou a more horrid hent.¡± (Act. 3 Scene 3 line 89~91) Hamlet wants an ideal revenge, which his opponent will suffer damnation in hell. Since Claudius is praying, Hamlet can¡¯t bear to kill him because he believes Claudius¡¯s soul will be purified and go to heaven, so Hamlet decides to kill Claudius at a more appropriate moment. The time Claudius is praying is the only time in the play that he is unguarded, which means Hamlet has let go of the best chance to kill Claudius for the sake of waiting for the perfect moment. Therefore, Hamlet¡¯s idealism causes him to procrastinate.

Aside from his idealism, Hamlet¡¯s fatalism also leads him to his downfall. Hamlet shows signs of being fatalistic by stating that he ¡°cannot choose his own origin.¡± (Act 1 scene 4 line 29) According to Hamlet in the same quote, a man is not ¡°guilty¡± of having a ¡°vicious mole of nature¡± or natural flaw he is born with because he cannot choose where he came from. (Ac1 scene 4 line 27 ~ 28) Furthermore, Hamlet comments that most people would ¡°rather bear those ills we...
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