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

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  • Essay length: 758 words
  • Submitted: 19/11/2004
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AS and A Level Hamlet

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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." But shortly afterwards he is already having second thoughts about this promise he has made, " this time is out of joint, o cursed spite, that I was ever born to set it right."

As the play goes on, hamlet still has yet to act on his murderous task. Hamlet decides before he

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