• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Do you think that Hamlets hesitation can be seen as a tragic flaw or is Shakespeares presentation of his character more complex?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Literature AS ? Tragedy - Hamlet Word Count: 1,245 Do you think that Hamlet?s hesitation can be seen as a ?tragic flaw? or is Shakespeare?s presentation of his character more complex? A tragic flaw ? also known as Hamartia ? is a characteristic or error that causes the downfall of a tragic hero. Shakespeare?s portrayal of Hamlet?s downfall it could be argued, agrees with Aristotelian theories on tragedy which sees a protagonist who has enjoyed great prosperity undergoing a reversal of fortune. Hamlet?s tragic flaw can be seen as procrastination, putting off the revenge of his uncle leads to his demise. Near the beginning of the play, it seems that Hamlet intends to take revenge but never actually does so ? ?continually resolving to do, yet do nothing but resolve...? S.T. Coleridge. This is not the be all and end all of Hamlet?s character as many other aspects in the play influence his actions; Shakespeare?s presentation of Hamlet is more complex than a ?pigeon-livered? man simply ?lacking gall?. Hamlet?s hesitancy can be understood through Shakespeare?s use of language which shows his change from ?ignorance to awareness? (Aristotle). Hamlet?s self-loathing is shown, ?Yet I, a dull and muddy-mettled rascal? indicating that he recognises his deferment and philosophical thinking as a burden. ...read more.

Middle

Although his tragic flaw is seen here as hesitation, the audience can empathise with his loss and can understand why he would want to wait and take revenge on his uncle properly. This does not however justify why he has not completed the revenge earlier and forebodes tragedy as Hamlet wastes more time. Hamlet?s obsession with putting on an antic disposition can be seen as an aspect of his procrastination; however the audience suspect that it is deeper and becoming part of his complex character. We are warned of Hamlet?s lunacy at the start of the play, Act 1 Scene 5 ?to put antic disposition on.? It is plausible to suggest that Hamlet may have exaggerated his madness after the sudden death of his father and allow time to plot his revenge. Polonius asks Hamlet if he will walk out of the air (outside) and Hamlet replies, ?Into my grave?? relating to the suicide that Hamlet has been speaking about and shows he is mad in craft and knows what he is doing. Ophelia?s report of Hamlet in Act 2 scene 1, ?Lord Hamlet? pale as a shirt? knees knocking each other? shows her speech is split into short sections suggesting she is speaking quickly and is fearful. ...read more.

Conclusion

Freud?s Oedipus complex could be seen to help explain Hamlet?s rage towards his mother which would be another facet of his more complex character. Before Hamlet knows that Claudius has murdered his father he is angry at him for marrying his mother and describes him as ?rank and gross?. At first, Shakespeare shows Hamlet as angry at the speed of their marriage; ?The funeral bak?d meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables?. Despite this, Hamlet?s feelings of anger towards his mother could be interpreted as Oedipal. He often refers to the ?incestuous sheets? and ?enseamed bed? in which Gertrude and Claudius make love which could suggest sexual jealousy towards the pair. The word incestuous shows Hamlet?s true disgust in their relationship. To conclude, Shakespeare?s presentation of Hamlet is highly complex, for example his incapability to move on, religious influence and his good nature. Obsession over his antic disposition and anger at himself leads Hamlet off course, foreboding his demise as he loses his reasoning and leaves time for Claudius to plot his death. Although written in the form of a classical tragedy, Shakespeare?s portrayal of Hamlet?s tragic flaw can be seen as complex which is found in more modern tragedies. Hamlet?s intricacy forces the audience to interpret events; it creates realism and evokes catharsis amongst the audience as nobody has just one flaw. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the presentation of revenge in 'Hamlet'.

    4 star(s)

    impossible for Hamlet to take revenge as he is unaware of the truth. Though Hamlet tries to cut through the curtain, he fails and ends up killing the wrong man. This shows him that it is no good trying to confront the problem, he must remove the cloak of deceit

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Hamlet presents indecision with decisive craft. Discuss Hamlets character in the light of this ...

    3 star(s)

    Unfortunately, the conflict that exists between his sense of honour and moral correctness causes a conflict of emotionally driven consequences. Many critics believe Hamlet to be an indecisive character. On the contrary, Hamlet is a decisive character, Hamlet simply make decisions that lead to indecision.

  1. The Dramatic Function of Ophelia in Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.

    In addition to Shakespeare employing many images of disease and decay, he also includes several expressions relating to physical deterioration such as "the fatness of these pursy times" (III.iv.154) and "the drossy age" (V.ii.181). Ophelia's own deterioration accentuates the theme but while all others perish due to their weaknesses, her demise is brought about by her virtues.

  2. Hamlet's Tragic Flaw leading to his Demise

    The second time he procrastinates is during the end of the second act. From the first act the ghost of Hamlet's father appears to Hamlet, telling him that he was murdered by his brother, Claudius. Hamlet ignores this knowledge that he knows, and still wants to prove Claudius' guilt.

  1. Scene by Scene - Hamlet.

    and that his mother wants to see him (king's orders). Hamlet gives them goofy answers, which he intends to insult them rather than deceive them. Guildenstern asks for straight answers. Rosencrantz says, "My lord, you once did love me", and asks why Hamlet is upset.

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of the relationships between parents and children in Hamlet.

    life at the hands of her own son and terrified, questions whether 'Thou wilt not murder me?' (20;4;3). By now Hamlet's behaviour has become intensely violent, so violent that Gertrude chooses to use the word 'murder' instead of 'kill'. This suggests Hamlet has a clod blooded and sadistic nature, undoubtedly

  1. Discuss Hamlet's attitude to death and the afterlife, giving indications to how both contemporary ...

    The clown is questioning whether or not Ophelia deserves to be given a Christian burial given that she took her own life that God gave her. The disapproval of Ophelia receiving a Christian burial is demonstrated in Hamlet's words at her funeral saying 'Who is this they follow?

  2. An Analysis of Hamlets Philosophy of Life and Death in William Shakespeares Hamlet

    the problems he is dealing with. He sees death as a way to relieve himself from his earthly problems, but realizes he will be damned to hell if he commits suicide, as it is a mortal sin. Thus, Hamlet is discouraged by all the untimely events that seem to come another the other and they seem to overwhelm hi.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work