• 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. 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. Examine critically the character of Hamlet as revealed through his soliloquies.

    He admits to the audience that he is a coward by saying, "Why, what an ass am I!" Hamlet seems to know exactly what his problem is, as he himself admits that he does nothing but "unpack my heart with words".

  1. Hamlet essay on his character

    On the other hand Shakespeare also shows the audience that Lear still hasn't changed and is still selfish. As he only thinks about the cruel things that have been done towards him and not about how he could redeem himself from cruel things he has done towards others.

  2. Hamlet & Madness

    Bring me to the test, / And I the matter will re-word, which madness / would gambol from..." (3:4:143-46). In conclusion, if Hamlet was an individual Williams 4 consumed by madness, he would have entertained only irrational thoughts and would not have had the power to choose certain individuals to speak rationally with.

  1. Comparing Hamlet with Fortinbras

    At the beginning of the play Hamlet does not know that his father was murdered, but he disapproves of the marriage between his mother and uncle, so soon after the death of his father, so already he does not particularly like or respect his uncle, Claudius.

  2. It could be said that Hamlet is not a play of inaction, but a ...

    That would be scann'd: A villain kills my father, and for that I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven.3 In this scene, Hamlet discovers Claudius praying; shows a will to perform his task of revenge, and yet he is unable to go through with it.

  1. Hamlet is a well-known tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the year 1600.

    his fathers death and his mothers quick remarriage every time he comes upon the subject as he quotes here: "But two months dead" following this: " nay not so much, not two" And then finally Hamlet says "a little month".

  2. According to Aristotelian philosophy a tragedy is a compressed development of a single plot.

    when Claudius married Gertrude the ghost tells Hamlet that he has been given the duty to avenge the death of his father Hamlet now tries to find a way to kill Claudius although he doesn't know how to go about it.

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