Archetypal Critique and Hamlet’s Tragic Flaw In the Shakespearean play Hamlet, the main character Hamlet is a classic example of a tragic hero. Not only does he begin with the noblest motivations (to punish his father’s murderer) but by the end, his situation is such a mess that the only believable final act should be his death. Like the classical tragic hero, Hamlet does not survive to see the full outcome of his actions and more importantly, this is because he possesses a tragic flaw. Although Hamlet has many flaws in his character, Hamlet’s recognition with and his ability to understand the power of words and language is both his biggest strength and tragic flaw. Hamlet’s deep connection with language and words causes him to base his perceptions
This stress put on him is what essentially created his tragic flaw. Hamlets tragic flaw is his indecisiveness to make decisions. This trait is demonstrated through the entire play and causes Hamlet to his own demise. When Hamlet has immediate suspicious of his fathers murder and later proof, he delays the murder, which is puzzling because the play is about revenge, and one would expect him to have done it earlier as he had ample amount of opportunities to do so. His indecisiveness has puzzled many.
Laertes’ revenge is the catalyst that made Hamlet’s revenge so deadly and hurt many more people (although a lot is due to Laertes’ revenge also). Laertes’s revenge hurt many people in the play, including his own death. In V.ii.334 Laertes says, just before dying “He is justly served. It is a poison tempered by himself. Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet.
Hamlet himself portrays many different acts of violence in this work such as murder and physical harassment. Violence is a major theme in Hamlet because without it, there would never be an end to the story because no one could ever get the revenge and justice they felt needed. Starting out the play with violence sets a mood for the play, because readers realize that now things can only get worse. Since this play is a tragedy, most readers would expect it to end in the worst way, just like in Romeo and Juliet. Known for setting up major themes in this play such as revenge and betrayal, violence also keeps readers interested and helps
Throughout his career as a playwrite William Shakespeare explores many ideas such as love, fate, and ambition. Shakespeare also explores the idea of revenge in plays such as Titus Andronicus and Julius Caesar, but revenge “dominates the action of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” (Branam 3015). In the revenge play Hamlet Shakespeare tells the story of the prince of Denmark, Hamlet, and how he must avenge his father’s death after he was killed for the throne by his brother, Claudius. However, Hamlet only learns the truth through a ghost claiming to be Hamlets father, so Hamlet is unsure whether the ghost is real or if its story is true. Hamlet first hesitates to take revenge so he can validate the ghost and his story.
Hamlet was plotting his uncle’s murder, something the majority of people would view as completely insane, but it is how he plotted this murder that makes it clear that he is not mad. He deceives his friends and family into thinking he has gone completely mad, but it is his actions that prove to the reader that he may not be as mad as the king and queen believe. His unwillingness to kill Claudius because “he is a-praying.. And so he goes to heaven; And so I am revenged: And so he is scanned:” (III/iii/76-79) proves that he still has some reason and has put some thought into this murder. Also, it is how Hamlet acts towards his love, Ophelia, that proves that he may not truly be mad, especially in Act 5 during her funeral when he returns and states “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their love make up my sum.”(V/i/262-264) Hamlet attempts to deceive the entire kingdom into labelling him as mad so that they would think nothing of him.
The evolution of Hamlet is quite surprising he begins as a young leader with the world in his hand, to a mad who becomes gript with revenging his father’s death. The revenge theme is acted upon throughout the story and is essentially what drives Hamlet. He believes that Claudius has killed his father (we later find out this is true), this begins his investigating. “Hamlet O, from this period forth, my opinions be wounded, or be nobody value!” Hamlet 's search to revenge his father 's death blinded his ethics and intelligence and main to his early death. It can be argued that Hamlet is the most complex character Shakespeare has ever written, there has been many debates revolving around his insanity (real or fake).
“The lovers want to live in union; the death-dealing feud opposes their desire” (Kahn 185) and the play suddenly turns into a tragedy. Thus, the feud plays a crucial role in the dramatic development of the play. Firstly, it is the feud which causes Tybald to kill Mercutio, as “To Tybald, a sword can only mean a challenge to fight, and peace is such a word” (Kahn 174). Furthermore, due to this conflict Romeo murders Tybald in order to take revenge for his friend’s death and in this way according to Paster he bothers the completion of his secret marriage with Juliet
This emotional rollercoaster of love and loss is something that everyone can relate to regardless of the time period. Instinctive Revenge: Hamlet’s need to seek revenge on his uncle for his father’s death is the main plot of the play. This instinctive revenge is an archetype because almost everybody would want seek revenge on the person who killed somebody they loved. It is just the natural habit of human nature to fight and believe in something they care about. Conflicts/Issues Highlighted: Hamlet/Claudius: Hamlet and Claudius are the main conflict throughout the whole play.
With his father just being murdered by his uncle Claudius and Polonius banning the relationship between him and Ophelia, the only thought running through Hamlet’s mind was anger and revenge. The acts of violence throughout the play comes in three different forms; murder, suicide, and combat. Polonius is unexpectedly murdered, Ophelia goes mad and commits suicide, and Hamlet provokes a battle with Laertes that ends poorly for both men. All three of these violent acts can be traced back to clouded judgements, indecisiveness, anger, revenge, and heartbreak. Shakespeare created such acts of violence to keep the readers on their toes and informed, but also to invoke questions.