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To what extent is hamlet a tragic hero in the classical sense

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To what extent is hamlet a tragic hero in the classical sense According to the Aristoltelian view of tragedy, a tragic hero must fall through his own error. This is typically called "the tragic flaw" and can be applied to any characteristic that causes the downfall of a hero. Hamlet can be seen as a aristotelian tragedy and hamlet as its tragic hero. Hamlet's flaw, which in accordance with Aristotle's principles of tragedy causes demise, is his inability to act. This defect of hamlet's character is displayed throughout the play. In the opening scences of the play, the ghost of old hamlet reveals the truth about his death to his son, and tells hamlet to avenge the murder. Hamlet's first response is one that sounds of speedy action, "Haste me to know't that I with winds as swift....may sweep to my revenge." ...read more.


Hamlet doesn't want to kill him when he is confessing he wants to kill him when he done something wrong, so he has a reason to, "when he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, or th'incectuous pleasure of his bed." Another tragic flaw is the fact that he is so obsessive about his mother and uncle sleeping together, more so then his fathers death, as he always puts that first when talking "thou incestous, murderous." This could just be that he is so upset by the fact she loves another man now, but not any man "married with my uncle, my fathers brother" that really puts into perspective the way he says that. He is very hooked up on the fact that its "incestuous" really putting the point in it's a family member. ...read more.


The most obvious fall from grace is when he dies at the end, hamlets inability to act upon his fathers death causes his fall, and that his failure costs him not ony his life, but also his mother's. hamlet realises this was the kings attempt to kill him, and kills him, but this does not mean that hamlet has finally acted, he has only reacted to what has happened . if hamlet has initially carried out his dead father's wishes, the king could not have conspired against him. One final reason that makes hamlet a tragic hero is that he believes in fate, and everything has been planned by god. Once he sees the ghost for the first time, the ghost asks to go with him, and he says "my fate cries out" meaning this has been planned, I must go with him. So establishing that the play is an Aristotelian tragedy, because hamlet is a tragic hero. ...read more.

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