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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.

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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