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Hamlet as a Tragic Hero - Essay Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date Hamlet as a Tragic Hero As the main character in a tragic situation, a tragic hero has the capability of evoking fear and pity from the audience. The hero is often a righteous person, whose misfortune results from some faulty judgment or errors…
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Hamlet as a Tragic Hero
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Download file to see previous pages However, in all tragic endings, the main character becomes a hero if he or she had the freedom to influence his destiny by avoiding death. Hamlet had the freedom to avoid his death owing to the numerous opportunities he had to kill Claudius and the option of making public his claim, all of which he chose not to exploit (William and Philip 50). Unlike other characters like Macbeth who was evil, Hamlet was a loving and caring person of good conduct. For Macbeth, although endowed with positive attributes of bravery and strength, his pride was his most serious flaw, which made him a completely evil person. In the case of Romeo and Juliet, their death put an end to the animosity that existed between Capulets and the Montegues, and both could be together in the afterlife. This is quite the opposite for the case of Hamlet, where there is no one to live for since his parents are both gone and Ophelia is dead too. Hamlet possesses good traits including bravery, royalty, intelligence, and being daring as mentioned earlier. He for instance took a great risk of going to England knowing well that if the plan backfired it would lead to his execution. He demonstrated his royalty by getting annoyed with Claudius because of his farther, whereas he demonstrated his intelligence by faking insanity to obtain crucial information about his enemy Claudius (38). Like all tragic heroes, hamlet had a serious flaw in making decisions, adjusting to changes and acting accordingly, a character that comes out in several occasions throughout his life. First, he could not move on, instead he kept attending school in England even though he was fully-grown. He also took ages to get over his father’s death and thereafter could not take action on a decision to kill Claudius despite knowing for sure that he was responsible for his farther’ death by continuously pretending that he was insane. Lastly, he dated Ophelia for a relatively long period without getting around marrying her. Hamlet used the power of words and language extensively, which is classic characteristic of the play and the resultant actions by all characters, often falling victims to poisoned words. The relationship the characters develop with language and words creates a sense of reality throughout the play influencing the occurrence of tragic events. It is therefore evident that fascination with language and words was also one of Hamlet’s tragic flaws as a character. This comes out through the entire play, starting at the point where the ghost of his farther claimed that the entire ear of Denmark was poisoned by Claudius’ word and progresses to the end (80). For instance, instead of confronting Ophelia in a physically, Hamlet uses words to counter her and eventually leads her to committing suicide simply by scolding her like a child and terming her as a ‘breeder of sinners’. The entire play promotes the tragic hero character in Hamlet by incorporating aspects of catharsis throughout. For instance, Claudius was always fearful sensing that Hamlet knew the truth about his father’s death and that he could seek revenge on him. Further, Claudius himself although in great anger, could not kill Hamlet or stop the rest from knowing that he killed his father whom people loved very much as a king. This makes Claudius feel pity for him especially after seeing the ‘mouse trap’ and realizing that Hamlet already knew the truth. Hamlet’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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