The Tragic Hero of Hamlet Essay

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The Tragic Hero of Hamlet

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
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This was your husband. Look now what follows: Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear, Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes? (3.4.53 - 65)

Likewise, the absence of happiness as well as a foreshadowing of destruction is heard between Prince Hamlet and the Ghost: "The time is out of joint-O-cursed site, / Thatever I was born to set right! / Nay, come, let's go together" (1.5.188-90). This quote illustrates his task of seeking revenge for his father's death, which ultimately influences his destruction.

Prince Hamlet's decision to feign madness does not follow the traditional method of a tragic hero's flaw being associated with an internal weakness such as having too much pride, ambition, or passion that causes his fall from happiness into destruction. For example, the Greek philosopher Aristotle defined the tragic hero with Oedipus as the archetype: a great man at the pinnacle of his power who, through a flaw in his own character, topples, taking everyone in his jurisdiction with him. In contrast, Prince Hamlet pretends to feign madness because he wants to have more time to plot his plan of revenge, which includes spying on his mother and uncle. He admits his decision as he tells Horatio, "How strange or odd some'er I bear myself- / As I perchance hereafter shall think meet / To put an antic disposition on" (1.5.170-72). Once more the
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