Characteristics Of Hamlet As A Tragic Hero

869 Words 4 Pages
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet tells the tale of a young prince who seeks revenge after the death of his father, the king. Prince Hamlet goes through several incidents including feigning madness to discover the identity of his father’s murderer. His apparent behavior, however, is a major factor in the tragedy that takes place at the end of the play. Due to nature of the play, Hamlet can be seen as a hero of the tragedy. Hamlet displays three distinct characteristics that are unique to tragic heroes including his tragic flaw, his partial fault leading to his fall, and his undeserved misfortune. Foremost, one of the characteristics that categorize Hamlet as a tragic hero is his tragic flaw. Hamlet, after going into his mother’s chamber, hears …show more content…
Initially, after talking to his father’s ghost, Hamlet devises a plan to reveal the identity of King Hamlet’s killer. To achieve this goal of revenge, Hamlet decides that he must feign madness. Hamlet comments to Horatio, “How strange or odd some’er I bear myself / (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet / To put an antic disposition on) / That you, at such times seeing me, never shall … to note / That you know aught of me” (1.5.190-201). Hamlet lets know Horatio that at times he [Hamlet] is going to act mad for the sake of discovering the truth. This façade of madness, however, eventually leads to trouble. Hamlet only puts up an act to certain people, leading them to believe that he is in fact gone mad. Consequently, Claudius is afraid of Hamlet and his erratic behavior leading Claudius to formulate a plot to kill the prince. Claudius talks to Laertes and lets him know of his scheme involving a sword fight between Hamlet and Laertes that will result in Hamlet’s death. To make sure that Hamlet dies, Claudius poisons a goblet as well and plans to give it to Hamlet. Claudius makes a toast to Hamlet and asserts, “Stay, give me drink.—Hamlet, this pearl is thine. / Here’s to thy health. / Give him the cup” (5.2.306-308). Unfortunately, Gertrude ends up drinking from the goblet instead and collapses. Hamlet is befuddled at the sight of his fallen mother who tells him that she was …show more content…
Hamlet, in the beginning, is filled with sadness due to his father’s death. Hamlet observes, “But I have that within which passes show, / These but the trappings and the suits of woe” (1.288-89). Hamlet tells his mother that the clothes he wears only display the grief that he bears on the outside. In the inside, he comments, there is more grief than can be seen at the surface. As a result of his father’s death, Hamlet only wishes to discover the identity of the murderer, meaning that he does not wish to harm anybody else. Nevertheless, his lack of judgement led to the tragedy that takes place at the end of the play. Before he dies, Hamlet expresses to Horatio, “I cannot live to hear the news from England. / But I do prophesy th’ election lights / On Fortinbras; he has my dying voice” (5.2.391-393). Hamlet, ultimately, only has good intentions at heart and wishes the best for the people of Denmark. His death is truly undeserved seeing how Hamlet may have become a good ruler of

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