Nature And Morality Of Tragedy In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

2294 Words 10 Pages
Register to read the introduction… That is, the plot of a tragedy should involve some horrible or evil deed. The evil can be done to someone very important to the hero of a tragedy, usually a family members or someone hero really cares about, for example, in Hamlet, the murder of Hamlet’s father, the tragedy of Ophelia and the accident death of Prince Hamlet’s mother, Gertrudeas. Aristotle say: “we must represent men either as better than in real life, or as worse, or as they are” (6). By this he indicates that character is another significant and indispensible element of a tragedy. The essential quality or nature of each character should be revealed in the plot and the moral purpose of each character must be clear to the audience. In Hamlet, each character has its unique nature and moral significance. Hamlet, as the tragic hero, is a very complicated and contradictory man,as described by William Shakespeare, “ ‘Tis not alone my inky cloak…/nor customary suits of solemn black,/Nor…forced breath/No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,/Nor the dejected ‘havior of the visage…with all forms, moods, [and] shapes of grief. That can denote me truly” (98). Some people think Hamlet is weak in personality because he gives up many opportunities to kill his murderous uncle and he is skeptical about the truth of his father …show more content…
As Aristotle has suggested, “a tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself”. Shakespeare’s Hamlet deals with only one issue, which is Prince’s revenge for his father. This issue is serious because it involves revenge, fight and death. The whole story is complete because all the plots are revolved around the revenge of Prince Hamlet. Secondly, Aristotle says a tragedy should be “in a dramatic rather than narrative form”. There is no doubt that Hamlet is not just telling the audience what has happened to Prince Hamlet and what he has done to response it. The whole story is dramatic and acted out. Prince Hamlet’s revenge is not one step thing, it also involves the learning of the truth of Old Hamlet’s death, Hamlet sorrow and madness and suspicion, the tragedy of Ophelia and Hamlet’s mother, the duel between Hamlet and Laertes and so on. All the plots in Hamlet are dramatized and audience’s emotions go up and down with the development of the story. According to Aristotle, a tragedy should be arranged with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions. As analyzed above, audience feels pitiful when Prince Hamlet suffered from sorrow and they feel afraid and frightened when death finally came to Hamlet. There is another conception needed to be mention, the catharisis, which means the purging and cleansing

Related Documents