Hamlet; Tragic Hero

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Tragic hero Pages: 10 (3634 words) Published: February 1, 2012
  Argumentative/Persuasive Essay


Hamlet; The Tragic Hero


      In many plays there is always one person that is the tragic hero. They always possess some type of tragic flaw that in turn leads to their tragic deaths. In the Shakespearean play Hamlet the main character Hamlet is considered to be a tragic hero. By carefully analyzing the Shakespearean play Hamlet one can debate whether the main character Hamlet is a tragic hero. Although it is debatable whether or not Hamlet is a tragic hero, one would still agree that he is in fact a tragic hero. Despite what others may believe, there is more evidence to prove that Hamlet is a tragic hero as he displays the flaws of a tragic hero. Hamlet is a very indecisive man who likes to procrastinate a lot. Also, Hamlet is a rash man who does not think before acting. As well, Hamlet is also a misogynist man who seems to have a strong dislike for women. A tragic hero is a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy. Indecisive is characterized by indecision, as persons; irresolute; undecided. Rash means characterized by or showing too great haste or lack of consideration: rash promises. Misogynist means hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.  

     In the Shakespearean play Hamlet the main character Hamlet is considered to be a tragic hero because of his indecisiveness. Hamlet is a very indecisive man who is unable to react quickly to situations and tends to procrastinate very much. Hamlet’s indecisiveness is one of his biggest flaws throughout the play. Hamlet can never seem to make up his mind and this really affects him throughout the play. Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet, is murdered by Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius; who put poison into King Hamlet’s ear causing his death. In the beginning of the play Hamlet becomes aware of this discovery when his father King Hamlet reappears as a ghost asking Hamlet to avenge his death against Claudius. Hamlet agrees to do what his father asks but every time he gets the chance to kill Claudius he always makes up an excuse not to kill him. In Act 3 scene 2 Hamlet has the perfect opportunity to kill Claudius during the “Mouse Trap Scene Hamlet devises this trap attempting to catch” the conscience of the king during the theatre (III.i.582). The play-within-a-play tells the story of Gonzago, the Duke of Vienna, and his wife, Baptista, who marries his murdering nephew, Lucianus. Hamlet believes that the play is an opportunity to establish a more reliable basis for Claudius’s guilt than the claims of the ghost. Since he has no way of knowing whether to believe a member of the spirit world, he tries to determine whether Claudius is guilty by reading his behaviour for signs of a psychological state of guilt:                                          Ophelia. The king rises. Hamlet. What, frighted with false fire? Gertrude. How fares my lord? Polonius. Give o’er the play. Claudius. Give me some light. Away!   Lords. Lights, lights, lights!

William Shakespeare, Hamlet; (III.i.582).

At this point Hamlet knows very well that Claudius is guilty because of his behaviour throughout the play “O good Horatio, I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound.” But even after Claudius jumps up with excitement Hamlet still does not do anything to him. Hamlet has the perfect moment to avenge his father’s death but sadly he does not....
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