Hamlet Tragic Hero

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A tragic hero is one the begins as a highly-respected individual, until they are faced with a decision that exploits their tragic flaw which sends them towards there mere end but die with pride. A tragic hero is evident through Hamlet in Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Satan in Paradise Lost by John Milton. These tragic heroes are often compared but the question remains, who is the more tragic hero? While it is clear both characters support the makeup of a tragic hero, Satan’s story occurs on a more important topic, making his characteristics more evident than those of Hamlet. Satan’s pride in his action differs from hamlets lack of willingness to trust his instincts and act. The characters share characteristics as well; their position before …show more content…
“The force of these dire arms? Yet not for these, Nor what the Potent Victor in his rage can inflict, do I repent or change…” (Milton I.94-96) This quotes proves Satan’s Pride in rebelling against God, losing everything he once had, and who he now is. Satan regrets nothing and will never change, his thirst for revenge and hunger for evil will remain for all of eternity. “…can make a Heav’n of Hell and a Hell of Heav’n… Better to reign in hell then to serve in Heav’n.” (Milton I.255-63) Satan truly believes that his actions have made his life better, this great ordeal of pride is the most important factor to a tragic hero. Hamlet however does not feel the same amount of pride in himself as Satan does towards himself. Hamlets lack of pride is proven through the quote “… I not set my life in a pin’s fee / and for my soul what can it do to that…” (Shakespeare I.IV.68-69) Proving Hamlet feels there is no value or purpose to his life, leading him away from the characteristics of a tragic hero. Hamlet also lacks in Hubris because of his inability to act, he always finds a reason against avenging his father at that moment. When he sees an opportunity to kill Claudius “Now I might do it pat. Now he is praying…A villain kills my father and, for, that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to Heaven… no.” (Shakespeare III.III.74-87) Hamlet does not …show more content…
It is easy to relate to Satan and fear how easy it is to lose everything that one once had because of a mistake one must live the rest of their life with the consequences. Even if one’s position is of high stature for example, the neuro surgeon that murdered his wife three weeks ago, just like Satan he was once respected and now he will spend the rest of his life with nothing due to that one mistake. One can also relate to the inner turmoil Hamlet suffers, Hamlet struggles to carry out his thoughts into actions his procrastination leads to the demise of everyone but Horatio. This moves readers to fear because they realize their own procrastination in their own lives. While most likely not leading to the same outcome as the one in Hamlet, procrastination never leads to anything good and Hamlet portrays this tremendously. Fear is placed in the reader because the characters of high importance make mistakes that lead to undesired outcomes. These errors would easily be made by someone more fallible then these characters. Placing fear in the reader is a criterion for a tragic hero, while both characters meet this criteria Hamlet is the more relatable when compared to Satan because he is mortal and Satan is

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