Why Hamlet is a Hero
A literary hero is someone who displays feats of nobility along with courage. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, young Hamlet is obviously the hero of the play. Stranded in the middle of a court full of corruption, faced with his father’s death and his mother’s almost immediate remarriage, Hamlet somehow comes out of it a hero in the reader’s minds. It is his courageousness and nobility that lead him through his revenge, virtually unscathed by the corruption of the court.
Hamlet’s courageousness is shown through many aspects. After being given a mission of revenge by his late father’s ghost young Hamlet not only accepts it, but also expands the mission to include purifying the whole court. He believes that his mission is not only to kill Claudius, but to kill corruption as well. Though he does not consciously announce his goal to root out the corruption in the court, it can be seen through his reactions after killing Polonius and manipulating the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. His reaction upon realizing that he had killed Polonius was not one of utter shock or one of regret; instead, Hamlet proclaims farewell to the “wretched, rash, intruding fool” (III.iv.33). Also, Hamlet tells Horatio that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern “are not near [his] conscience” (V.ii.58), even after he has ordered the killing of the two. Even though Hamlet may sound cold and heartless, it is not so because in Hamlet’s perspective, he was merely trying to rid the court of corrupted fools as it is part of his scheme of purifying the court. Hamlet’s murder of these three characters reflect great courage because by doing so he had to overcome his religious belief that murder is a sin and live up to the challenge of purifying the court.
Not only does Hamlet’s courageousness show in his mission of revenge, it is conveyed in other incidences in the play. He is not afraid to follow...
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