Hamlet Tragic Hero Essay

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Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a tragedy that has driven arguments on whether or not Hamlet is a tragic hero. A tragic hero is a character in a tragedy, usually the protagonist, which has some fatal flaw that will eventually lead to their ultimate demise later on. Hamlet’s fatal flaw happens to be his continuous contemplation and inactivity. In order to understand a tragic hero, one must first understand tragedy. A tragedy is “a drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances.” There are six key elements to a tragic hero, the first being nobility. The tragic hero must be of noble birth,…show more content…
Hamlet’s fatal flaw is his continuous inactivity and contemplation throughout the whole play, which perpetuates his idle nature and ultimately leads to his demise. Hamlet spends the entire play in deep contemplation, delving deep into his innermost conflict and thought. His scenes are rampant with soliloquies that perpetuate the deep, thoughtful nature of Hamlet. This thoughtful nature is by no means a virtue of Hamlet. He must be driven by the cause of his father’s unruly death to seek vengeance for King Hamlet. “Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!” (Act II, Scene II, Line 535) Unfortunately, Hamlet’s constant scrutiny and consideration results in his idling and procrastination. While he should constantly strive for action, Hamlet remains mostly inactive, losing every opportunity to fight for his cause. He broods over justice, discusses morality, and explores both life and death through thought. While his soliloquies are proof of his inactivity, Hamlet’s behavior in regards to Polonius’ murder is strange, and seemingly out of character. This, however, just sheds more insight into Hamlet's faults. Hamlet does nothing to verify the identity of the eavesdropper and just assumes it is his uncle. He rather hastily stabs at the unidentified man, which reveals Hamlet's irrationality and immaturity when it

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