s Hamlet a tragic hero? In many senses, Hamlet is the quintessential tragic hero. Not only does he begin with the noblest motivations (to punish his father’s murderer) but by the end, his situation is do dire that the only plausible final act should be his death. Like the classical tragic hero, Hamlet does not survive to see the full outcome of his actions and more importantly, this is because he possesses a tragic flaw. While there are a number of flaws inherent to his character, it is Hamlet’s intense identification with and understanding of the power of words and language that ultimately bring about his requisite tragic ending. Hamlet’s deep connection with language and words causes him to base his perceptions of reality on his interpretation and understanding of words and he allows himself to become overwrought with creating meaning. As this thesis statement for Hamlet suggests, eventually, his own words and philosophical internal banter are his end since being a highly verbose and introspective man, this is both one of his greatest gifts as well as his tragic flaw.
Hamlet fits several into several of the defining traits of a tragic hero in literature, particularly in terms of how he possesses a tragic flaw. The fact that Hamlet’s best trait is also his downfall (his tragic flaw, in other words) makes him a prime candidate for a tragic hero and in fact, makes him one of the most tragic figures in the works of Shakespeare in general. More specifically, what makes Hamlet even more of a tragic hero is that his actions and tragic flaw is not his fault. He is an introspective character and in a normal situation, this might not be a problem. However, being part of the royal family makes him prone to negative and stressful situations and thus his engagement with words to level in which he is almost crippled is absolutely tragic, even if it is not because of anything he had overtly done.
For Hamlet, the power of language and words are the key to both the...
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