Characters In Shakespeare's Hamlet As A Tragic Hero

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The Shakespearean work, Hamlet, is widely regarded as one of the greatest tragedy dramas ever created. Most tragedies tend to have a main character that seems to be just bombarded by bad luck time after time again, for almost no reason at all. These characters would be tragic heroes if they match the criteria set forth by the great philosopher Aristotle. The play is basically a philosophical and supernatural tale of revenge that revolves around the main character, Hamlet. I believe Hamlet can be considered as a tragic hero by Aristotle’s theory because he has most of the major pre-requisites that Aristotle had laid out. There are three main points that nail Hamlet as a traditional tragic hero: his fatal flaw (Hamartia), his reversal of fortune …show more content…
This manifests to the audience on two occasions in the play. The first is his inability to take action after the ghost of his father tells him how he was murdered and who the culprit is. Hamlet does not take the ghost on his word until he finds concrete proof that his uncle was the murderer. Logically this makes a lot of sense to due, however in this case he should have just listened to the ghost and put an end to his uncle’s reign right then and there. The reasoning behind is hesitation is detailed in Act 2, Scene 2 Lines 627-631, “The spirit that I have seen, May be the devil: and the devil hath power, To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps, Out of my weakness and my melancholy” (shmoop editorial team), he did not want to murder his uncle due to being tricked by a maleficent spirit. The other instance that Hamlet’s hamartia manifests is when he hesitates to kill his uncle while he was …show more content…
He feels sad that he was not able to get revenge for his father or help his mother before being sent to England, however, this is when he decides to do away with his indecisiveness and he goes about actually killing his uncle. Unfortunately, it is already too late for Hamlet for his uncle has already had enough time to plot how to get rid of Hamlet and secure his spot as king. Technically Hamlet is able to achieve his revenge and the very end of the play but not before his mother dying accidentally, Ophelia’s brother, as well as Hamlet himself. This solidifies another point that I had discussed earlier that a tragic hero often suffers to an extreme amount for almost no reason at all. He just wanted to kill one person for revenge only for there to be about seven funerals instead.
To conclude, I believe Hamlet hits the nail on the head in being considered a tragic hero. His story arc encompasses a hamartia, peripeteia, and an anagnorisis just a true Aristotelian tragic hero would among other core elements that he mentions as

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