The Webster dictionary defines tragedy as, “a serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that excites pity or terror.” (Webster Dictionary) So a tragic hero is a character who goes through a conflict and suffers catastrophically as a direct result of his choices. You will see throughout this story that the character Hamlet is a clear example of Shakespeare’s tragic hero.
Hamlet's fatal flaw is his inability to act. Unlike his father, Hamlet lets his intelligence rather than his heroism govern him. When he has a chance to kill Claudius, and take vengeance for his father's murder, he hesitates, reckoning that if he kills the man while he is at prayer, Claudius would have asked for pardon from the Lord and been forgiven of his sins, therefore allowing him to enter Heaven. Hamlet decides to wait for a better opening. His flaw of being hesitant in the end leads to his own death, and also the deaths of Gertrude, Ophelia, Laertes, and Claudius.
Throughout the play, Hamlet shows many examples of being an indecisive person and being unable to do anything he wants to, as if something stops him. An example would be in act five, when he decides to confess his love for Ophelia on her grave. He took too long to tell Ophelia or anyone for the matter about his love for her. Another example would be his mother remarrying, and Hamlet not being able to confess his true feelings about King Claudius being his new father. In the first four acts, Hamlet goes on about his life being miserable and in some kind of melancholy mood. He can’t find a way to deal with it, so he keeps all of his negative feelings to himself. This “depressed” funk he is in interferes with his will to act upon things that
When Hamlet’s father, the late king of Denmark, comes to him as a ghost and reveals he died at the hands of his brother, Claudius, he demands Hamlet “revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (1.4.23-25). Without hesitation, Hamlet agrees to avenge his father’s death, saying, “Haste me to know’t, that I with wings as swift / as meditation or the thoughts of love, / May sweep to my revenge” (1.5.29-31). He decides the proper form of justice is to kill Claudius, just as the king killed his own brother, though he has his own motives. Hamlet loathes Claudius for marrying his mother, and learning King Hamlet died at the hands of Claudius only provokes Hamlet more. As the play continues, Hamlet plots his revenge, and he deceives everyone with his apparent insanity. Hamlet eventually succeeds in his search for vengeance and justice, though it kills him as well. He
Hamlet had the opportunity to kill Claudius at the chapel but restrained himself, he believed it was too good of a death for Claudius and that if he were killed his sins would be forgiven. This shows his lack of action and proves he is a procrastinator. In his soliloquies he constantly criticizes himself for the obvious avoidance of responsibility saying, "Am I a coward? Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across? Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat, as deep as to the lungs? who does me this?" (Act 2 Sc. 2, 571-575)
Hamlet doesn’t think it would be just to kill Claudius now because it would be basically sending him “to heaven” which Hamlet does not want. He wants to take what he perceives as the nobler path of catching Claudius in sin and send him to eternal damnation, where Hamlet’s father supposedly roams. To what seems like noble justice to Hamlet leads him to continuously postpone his revenge. Hamlet is not interested in making himself king, rather he is more interested in killing Claudius the, truthfully, unchristian way. Hamlet does not want Claudius to repent and absolve of his sins. Although Hamlet calls Claudius a “villain”, it makes the reader ponder if the executioner of the villain is always the “hero”. So far in the play, Hamlet does not show any characteristics of a traditional hero as he broods and shows temper tantrums. Using his false sense of righteousness, Hamlet waits for the right chance to exact his noble “revenge”.
Further evidence of Hamlet's tragic flaw can be found in act III, scene 3. At this point, Hamlet is sure of Claudius' guilt, and has even declared that "Now could I drink hot blood and do such bitter business as the day Would quake to look on." (p. 99 lines 406-408) He comes to find King Claudius alone, and recognizes it as an opportunity to act, but almost immediately talks himself out of action on the bases that the King is praying, and will therefore go to heaven. He decides yet again to delay avenging his father's murder, this time until he can kill the King while he is in a vile condition, such as "When he is drunk asleep; or in his rage; Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed." (p. 103 lines 89-90) Hamlet has failed to act for so long that the Ghost soon comes back to remind him of his duty.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is an interesting play in many ways. The character Hamlet is particularly intriguing in regards to his fatal flaw. Hamlet’s fatal flaw is a specific trait that forces him to postpone killing the king and it is this trait that drives Hamlet mad (Shakespeare 1.4.23-38). This Shakespearean tragedy is open to many interpretations of Hamlet’s fatal flaw. Two recent film productions of the play, Kenneth Branaugh’s Hamlet and the Zeffirelli’s Hamlet, each show a different fatal flaw in Hamlet. Branaugh shows his fatal flaw to be that Hamlet over thinks everything. Zeffirelli accentuates the Oepipus Complex in Hamlet meaning that Hamlet is jealous over his mother. Branaugh and Zeffirelli both use different methods to
Another major thing that contributed to Hamlet’s complexity was his utter hatred towards Claudius. From the get go Hamlet never liked him. He felt Claudius was immoral and almost worthless. After the ghost of his father told Hamlet that Claudius was responsible for his death, he hated his uncle just that much more. That hatred soon turned into something much more though. It transformed into a desire for revenge. Before he did anything though, he had to be positive that Claudius was the one responsible, so Hamlet tested his innocence. Claudius failed the test and Hamlet was then positive that he was responsible for the murder of his father (Mitchell, 34-37).
Does Hamlet have a tragic flaw? If so, what is it and how does it effect his surroundings and how does it effect Hamlet himself? What is the outcome of his flaw?
Hamlets father was king married to Queen Gertrude but Hamlet had to return home to attend his funeral. He was a loving son; mourning, only to figure out his mother (the queen) had already married once more. The Queen’s new husband is King Claudius who is Hamlets uncle and the deceased King’s brother. This betrayal was like none other in Hamlet’s eyes. He knew right anyway from a feeling that Claudius was responsible for King Hamlet’s death. Hamlet even worried and sometimes assumed that his mother was part of the planning or even killing of his father. Returning home immediately became about getting revenge on the people that hurt his family and even in some cases that meant his mother. Hamlet was a smart man and very cunning but in the end it doesn’t work out for anyone.
Logic is man 's most valuable asset; it is what pushed humanity past other species and helped develop humankind into what it is today. Without such logic and reasoning, humanity would not have evolved into the strongest and most powerful beings alive. It is what has enabled us to dominate the world, create civilization, unlock the secrets of the universe through math and science and reveal the true nature of man through art. One of art’s most beloved benefactors, William Shakespeare, crafted his most famous character, Hamlet, to be the living embodiment of this God-given reason. However, we learn throughout Hamlet’s eponymous play the irony in the
focussing on his purpose. As a matter a fact, a whole act is used to
A tragic flaw is a deficiency in a person that brings them sorrow and misery. A high percentage of individuals have some type of tragic flaw that earns them misery, wether it be a relatively small issue like being a tad lazy, or something bigger like showing open contempt for others. Both these flaws are a detriment to individuals and will hinder them in their lives. In the play, Hamlet there are a number of characters that have tragic flaws, including Gertrude and her inability to be loyal and Polonius and his meddling in affairs of others. The character with a tragic flaw that is portrayed most vividly by William Shakespeare is Hamlet. Hamlet’s tragic flaw is his tendency to overthink scenarios and decisions, while procrastinating any real action, which leads in part to his eventual murder.