Hamlet As A Hero

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A hero is considered to be an individual who is idolized for their courage, achievements, or noble qualities: they are selfless, decisive, and seek to bring those who have committed wrongs to justice. Heroes typically operate on a basis of black and white morality, wherein the hero’s course of action is that of justice, and their opposition’s path is that of villainy. However, in realistic scenarios, morality is rarely so straightforward. Protagonists in fiction typically establish the moral code which the story’s universe upholds, but that does not imply that the protagonist is a moral character. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the titular character, Hamlet, is a morally ambiguous character thrust into a heroic role, while possessing few characteristics typically associated with heroism.
In the play, Hamlet is the prince of Denmark, whose father, the king, had died while the prince was away at school. Hamlet arrives home from college to find his father deceased, and to find his mother remarried to his uncle, Claudius. Immediately, the readers are introduced to Hamlet as an emotional character: melancholy to the point of being suicidal, and bitter towards his family. In Hamlet’s first soliloquy, he marks a distinction between himself and the classic hero in an allusion to Hercules, who he insists himself to be nothing like, all while wishing that “the Everlasting had not fixed His canon ‘gainst (-- removed HTML --) ” (I.ii.135-136), as he desperately wants to die. While

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