What, by definition, is a tragic hero? Is this someone who saves a city in calamity? Or perhaps a character we see in hero films? A "tragic hero" is a term coined by the great philosopher, Aristotle. He describes it as a literary device used to define a character who has poor judgment and someone who has experienced personal downfalls that inevitably leads to his/her destruction. I would argue that the main character in this play (in other words, Hamlet) is an example of such a character. His thoughts and actions are controlled by those of his father's’s last words; “foul and most unnatural murder”. Hamlet's final goal was to avenge his father's death, and with that path came many incidents where his actions had greatly affected himself and others around him, for example; while Hamlet was his mother's chamber, he heard a sudden noise that makes him stab the curtain, then to reveal, Polonius was behind the curtain. After many instances, Hamlet's decisions and actions led to his tragic fatal ending. What makes Hamlet a tragic hero is the fact that he is introduced as a character with "great potential". He had a potential love interest, his life seemed to be on the verge of success but, when Hamlet saw his father return hat night asking him to punish his murderer, his character development potential plummeted. Hamlet's duty to avenge his father death did not go as he had planned. On his path to revenge, he faced many obstacles such as depression, the corruption of his
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William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is laden with tragedy from the start, and this adversity is reflected in the title character. Being informed of his father’s murder and the appalling circumstances surrounding the crime, Hamlet is given the emotionally taxing task of avenging his death. It is clear that having to complete this grim undertaking takes its toll on Hamlet emotionally. Beginning as a seemingly contemplative and sensitive character, we observe Hamlet grow increasingly depressed and deranged as the play wears on. Hamlet is so determined to make his father proud that he allows the job on hand to completely consume him. We realize that Hamlet has a tendency to mull and ponder excessively, which causes the notorious delays of action
Hamlet: one of the most analyzed tragic heroes in all of literature. Hamlet, the main character in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is conflicted throughout the whole play. He obsesses over avenging his father’s death, and this leads to rash, irresponsible actions that cause others to suffer, as well. He plans to kill Claudius, his uncle, for murdering his father and then marrying his mother. In an act of outrage, Hamlet unknowingly kills Polonius, the King’s assistant, instead. This creates even more problems because now someone else’s father is dead. Hamlet is somewhat of an inconsistent character; he’s different almost every time we see him. Hamlet displays characteristics of depression, irony, timidity, and being hurt.
Shakespeare's play, Hamlet illustrates the tragedy of a young prince's pursuit to obtain revenge for a corrupt act, the murder of his father. As the exposition unfolds, we find Prince Hamlet struggling with internal conflict over who and what was behind his father's death. His struggle continues as he awaits the mystic appearance of a ghost who is reported to resemble his father. Suddenly it appears, proclaiming, "Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing / To what I shall unfold" (1.5.5-6). The ghost continues to speak providing an important clue: "The serpent that did sting thy father's life / Now wears his crown" (1.5.38-39). In short, this passage reveals evidence leading to the identity of whom
How does the use of comic relief best contrast the tragedy of Hamlet? In great works of literature a comic relief is used as contrast to a serious scene to intensify the overall tragic nature of the play or to relieve tension. As illustrated in Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, intense scenes are joined with character’s banter and vacuous actions as to add a comic relief. In Hamlet, Polonius acts as a comic relief by his dull and windy personality, Hamlet uses his intelligence and his negativity toward the king and queen to create humor, while on the other hand Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are a comic relief by their senseless actions and naïve natures. Polonius, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are all used as a comic relief to
He is a hero who makes sure his story would be known that he has conquered the ambitious Claudius. However, in the process, he lost everyone he loves including his own life. Hamlet is in fact a tragic hero. According to Aristotle’s definition of tragedy, a tragic hero is a great person who has the potential for greatness but is defeated. This protagonist must come into conflict with a force who or which directly opposes to what he should want. He must also suffer from a tragic flaw, which inevitably brings about his own downfall. In Hamlet, Hamlet is the protagonist who suffers from the flaw of inaction while he is faced against Claudius. To conclude, because of Hamlet’s great inability to act earlier, his lies and deceptive acts have all prolonged his primary goal which has resulted in his tragic death.
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, the titled character of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, William Shakespeare’s most prominent play, is arguably the most complex, relatable, and deep character created by Shakespeare. His actions and thoughts throughout the play show the audience how fully developed and unpredictable he is with his mixed personalities. What Hamlet goes through in the play defines the adventures encountered by a tragic hero. In this timeless tragedy, despite Hamlet’s great nobility and knowledge, he has a tragic flaw that ultimately leads to his ironic death.
A tragic hero is defined as a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat. The hero in these tragedies is often presented as a noble however, flawed character whose demise is often impart to their own decisions, often due to their previously mentioned flaws, error in judgment and imprudent actions. Written in the early 1600’s Shakespeare wrote one arguably one of his greatest and highly controversial plays, the tragedy known as Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Shakespeare in his play introduces us the pays one of his most popular, enigmatic, and dynamic characters the tragic hero Prince Hamlet. Hamlet is presented to us a sensitive, religious, loyal, moral, intellectual, and young
With Hamlet being generally labeled as the best tragic hero ever created, it is ironic that his tragic flaw has never been as solidly confirmed as those of most of his fellow protagonists. There is Macbeth with his ambition, Oedipus with his pride, Othello with his jealousy, and all the others with their particular odd spots. Then there is Hamlet. He has been accused of everything and of nothing, and neither seems to stick. Flaws are carved out of obscure conversations when he may or may not be speaking truthfully and alleged from instances of his own self-discipline. They are bored into him with the bits of psychological drills invented long after Shakespeare's hand crafted
Hamlet fascinates many readers and the first thing to point out about him is that he is mysterious. Shakespeare's work demonstrates Hamlet's dilemma as the role of revenger showing a man of thought forced to be a man of action. Hamlet is extremely philosophical and introspective. He is particularly drawn to difficult questions or questions that cannot be answered with any certainty. Faced with evidence that his uncle murdered his father, Hamlet becomes obsessed with proving his uncle's guilt before trying to act. He is equally overwhelmed with questions about the afterlife, about the wisdom of suicide, and about what happens to bodies after they die.
What is a tragedy? A tragedy can be defined as a form of drama that depicts the suffering of a heroic individual who is often overcome by the very obstacles he is struggling to remove (Tragedy 1). Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is considered a tragedy in literature and the character of Hamlet in the play is considered to be a tragic hero. In addition, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is considered to be a type of tragedy called revenge tragedy. Basically, this type of play consists of a murder that has to be avenged by a relative of the victim (DiYanni 1394). Ultimately, the play is about a son that is called upon by the ghost of his father to avenge his death.
The tragedy of Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare is one of the best tragedies ever written. The term hamartia, coined by the philosopher Aristotle in his writing Poetics, can be defined as “tragic flow,” "to miss the mark" “leading to a mistake” (American Heritage Dictionary). Aristotle points out that: tragedy is an imitation not only of a complete action, but of events inspiring fear or pity as well as the tragic hero must not be an utter villain or a perfect man, but he must be, then: the character between these two extremes, that of a man who is not eminently good and just, - yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. (Aristotle, 17). In the plays entirety, tragedy strikes each main character from the opening scene to curtain, each event can be seen as a stepping stone to the emotional “build-up” of Hamlet leading to his “mental and emotional” downfall, ultimately leading to the catharsis or cleansing of emotions- for the audience to sympathize with the main character (American Heritage Dictionary).
According to Aristotle’s definition, a true “tragic hero” must have several characteristics which include nobleness, meaning he/she must be of royal family, a hamartia, a tragic flaw, and a reversal of fortune brought on by the hero’s tragic flaw. And finally the discovery of recognition that the reversal was caused by the characters own actions. Although arguments can be made against Hamlet being a tragic hero, as stated by Aristotle’s definition he is in fact a true tragic hero.