Hamlet: A Tragic Hero Essays

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The tragedy of Hamlet, Shakespeare’s most popular and greatest tragedy, presents his genius as a playwright and includes many numbers of themes and literary techniques. In all tragedies, the main character, called a tragic hero, suffers and usually dies at the end. Prince Hamlet is a model example of a Shakespearean tragic hero. Every tragedy must have a tragic hero. A tragic hero must own many good traits, but has a flaw that ultimately leads to his downfall. If not for this tragic flaw, the hero would be able to survive at the end of the play. A tragic hero must have free will and also have the characteristics of being brave and noble. In addition, the audience must feel some sympathy for the tragic hero. In Hamlet, the play concerns …show more content…
Hamlet has many noble and brave characteristics, this is one of the reasons he is a tragic hero. Hamlet’s promise to avenge his father’s death makes him noble because loyalty is part of chivalry, one of the main aspects of being noble. Also, Hamlet is very brave. When he found out that he was going to be executed, he had to make a choice to save himself or kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to avenge his father, because the risk he took could cause him to be actually executed. When the pirates attacked the ship, he escaped to carry out his promise that he made to his father’s ghost. Hamlet also has free will and is very intelligent. A tragic hero must have free will or his fate would be decided for him, and his death could be avoided. He feigns madness to meet more information about Claudius and not give away his ulterior motive. "I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw" (Shakespeare 2.2 402). This quote signifies that he is only mad at certain times, the rest of the time he know what he is doing. Also he uses free will when he saw Claudius praying. He could have slain him then and there, but if he did that Claudius could have a chance of going to Heaven; Hamlet did not want to send his nemesis somewhere where he could be care-free and guilt free.

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