Hamlet Tragic Hero Analysis

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Aristotle once said, “a tragedy is the moment where the hero comes face to face with his true identity”. In life, every individual is flawed; however one must be able to identify the difference between flaw, and tragic flaw. William Shakespeare is famously known for the concept of the tragic hero, and The Tragedy of Hamlet is no exception. A tragic hero can be defined as a noble character whose fatal flaw leads to their own destruction. In this tragedy of the Elizabethan era, one will come to understand what makes a true tragic hero, and how this ultimately leads the character to their downfall. Throughout this play, Hamlet and Ophelia both prove themselves to be tragic heroes through their fatal flaws; Hamlet’s indecisiveness and Ophelia’s …show more content…
By nature, Hamlet is inclined to think rather than act. This may not seem like a critical flaw in one’s character, but throughout the play the reader will realize, through Hamlet, how the inability to act can wreak havoc on a person. The first example showing Hamlet’s flaw is when he is contemplating whether or not to commit suicide. His famous line is “to be or not to be”, (3.1.56). In this soliloquy, Hamlet’s question is whether to exist or not. He is contemplating two very different extremes; life or death. He believes his life has lost all meaning and has no reason to live, yet is unable to take his life as it is against Catholic morals. For these reasons, he is unable to make up his mind. In his soliloquy he also says, “whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?”, (3.1.56-60). In this quote, Hamlet is contemplating whether it is better to suffer through the burdens of life, or better to set himself free. Hamlet believes people only live on for the fear of what happens after life, and that uncertainty is the reason that holds people back from setting themselves free. However, he is unable to take his life for the fear of the unknown outweighs his suffering. This soliloquy shows Hamlet’s indecisiveness and proves his obsession for certainty which in turn eventually leads to his madness. Another example that shows Hamlets inability to act is through the death of his father. When Hamlet finds out that Claudius is responsible for his father’s murder, he is thirsty for revenge. However, when he has a perfect opportunity to kill Claudius while he is praying, he hesitates and is unable to as his mind takes over in fear that Claudius will go to heaven if he is murdered in prayer. This demonstrates how Hamlet’s inability to take action prevents him from accomplishing the tasks at

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