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

The tragedy of Hamlet is not a fatal flaw in the character of the prince. He is simply ill-suited to the role he must play.

Extracts from this document...


Hamlet The tragedy of Hamlet is not a fatal flaw in the character of the prince. He is simply ill-suited to the role he must play. Discuss. Though we do see a Hamlet who is integral, intelligent and loved by the masses it is clear that Hamlet is most unquestionably not without flaw. We are seen through his interaction with Ophelia and his mother that Hamlet can be almost maliciously cruel. By no means can any of these failings be described as a 'fatal flaw'. What truly gives Hamlet his sense of integrity and what genuinely makes his story a tragedy is that he is obviously ill-suited to the role in which he must commit. What makes Hamlet different to characters such as Laertes, Fortinbras and even Claudius is that he almost over-intellectualizes every action he takes. He is reflective when others are impetuous; he is hesitant when they would be rash. And even though Hamlet might see it as a flaw, he is tentative when others would be bloody, hate-filled and resolute. Above all though, Hamlet is an extremely moral person. He is decent when all others around him are scheming. Hamlet's suffering unveils itself to us very early on in the play. ...read more.


It also seems that Hamlet, though given prior opportunity to commit the act, is unable to because of an inherent sense of fastidiousness that is so frustrating him. It is this over-intellectualization and fastidiousness that offers the audience the meant by which the play Hamlet can become a tragedy and also allows the plot to thicken even further into the decaying world that is Elsinore. What incessantly puzzles the audience and Hamlet himself is the reasons for Hamlet's delay in acting. Even when Hamlet is so plainly near the truth he is still perversely unable to act. Hamlet himself, in his reflective soliloquies, can't even offer us a solution to the enigma that is Hamlet's mind. Hamlet, during his soliloquies, merely questions himself on his inability to act which, consequently, forces him in to a downward spiral into frustration and possibly madness. Therefore, like Hamlet, the audience is left to decipher the endless confusion of Hamlet's actions to try and procure a possible reason for this delay. This delay, however, only remains a mystery to us if we lose sight of the defining moral dilemma of Hamlet. Hamlet is a profoundly moral man, unsure of how to act because he does not know what the right course of action is. This is the central dilemma of Hamlet and specifically the central dilemma of our protagonist. ...read more.


This is why I argue that it is not Hamlet's flaw, but rather his virtue which becomes the means for his end. It becomes apparent in Hamlet's foils that a better politician, though lesser man (such as Claudius) would have been initially compelled into an unwavering and tenacious course of action. Though this may have amounted in the same corporal outcome, it would not have held the same metaphoric virtue that Hamlet's campaign became. It is interesting though that Hamlet professes an enormous admiration for Fortinbras, the man of action, when clearly Fortinbras is an example of the thoughtless, rash conqueror. Perhaps Hamlet sees the qualities in Fortinbra that he himself craves for. Hamlet is an enormously complex character, and though he has his fair share of crippling flaws, he is not a tragic character in the classical sense. Hamlet's tragedy spurs from both the temporary loss of his innate sense of morality during his vindictive streak and, more importantly, the loss in the conclusion of the profoundly moral prince. Hamlet is not a great man brought down by one fatal flaw in his character. In some ways he is an excruciatingly normal man, plagued by the same doubts and woes that all of us do. But above all Hamlet is an extremely moral man, who is initially, without his moral justification, simply ill-suited to the role he must take. Andrew Dennis 12B ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Hamlet essays

  1. Comparing Hamlet with Fortinbras

    of rage whereas Fortinbras talks through his issues with the king of Norway and peacefully accepts the role of King in Denmark. This dramatic change in the characters personalities could be described as role reversal, Hamlet started off peaceful and ended up resorting to violence.

  2. Hamlets dilemma - Why can't he act?

    This theme reflects the enormous part religion played in Elizabethan society. There was the belief in the Divine Right of Kings/Queens, which meant the King/Queen was supposedly ordained by God (or at least the ordaining of a King was intended by God).

  1. Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, used Shakespeare's character, Hamlet, in a letter written to ...

    self, but also his inherent core "good", smothered by repressive and overpowering darkness. This image of light and darkness is later also realised in the black costume of "bodily, conscious Hamlet" and the white costume of "subconscious, mindly Hamlet". The camera zooms onto "bodily Hamlet" lying on a bed with

  2. Hamlet essay on his character

    This is probably because he has never really been in the cold before especially at storm like this, which helps him to become more caring even, thought his state of mind, may not be stable as he actually starts to see "poor naked wretches".

  1. With reference to key lines and speeches in the play, discuss interpretations of the ...

    Yet when he confronts her in the famous closet scene and he announces all her crimes, he does not once imply she has committed adultery. Some scholars believe that there is evidence of an incestuous relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet, a view universalised by Sigmund Freud's Oedipus complex.

  2. Hamlet - Character Analysis

    Hamlet becomes director in a play within a play. He is mirrored by the character Phyruss, who becomes his pawns to manipulate the reactions of the audience, most specifically to "catch the conscience of the king". Hamlet compares actors with prostitutes, implying that they are selling their souls, their emotions to the public, "like a whore...heart with words".

  1. Hamlets Doubts - helpful or harmful.modified.

    The way the Ghost tells Hamlet to avenge his death is questionable; he almost makes it seem as if it is very simple to do and shouldn't cause mental strain. To not try and comfort him and understand that the task may be hard could be an indication that the Ghost was indeed an evil spirit.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Convey a Sense of Anomie in Hamlet Act 1, and to ...

    And talking with "windy suspiration of forced breath". He goes on to list these "actions that a man might play", saying that he truly feels them. Later in the scene, when everybody else has left the court, Hamlet muses; "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!

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