The Tragic Hero In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

2018 Words 9 Pages
To take action or not to take action? Insanity or manipulation? Suicidal or noble? These are the questions that are brought forth during the tragedy Hamlet by William Shakespeare, wherein the decisions and actions of the tragic hero, Hamlet, decide the fate of all those around him. The audience is taken through the events that follow young Hamlet after the death of his father as Hamlet takes on the task of exacting revenge for him. In doing so, Hamlet must overcome the deprecating thoughts of his kingdom and himself by battling against his own fatal flaws. His personal development is questioned by both the kingdom and the audience, and prompts the discussion of whether Hamlet deserves what he got in the end. Although Hamlet struggles to deal …show more content…
and suicidal tendencies play only a small part in Hamlet’s overall character as a tragic hero. As with all tragic heroes, Hamlet has a fatal flaw that brings him to his downfall. This flaw being his hesitation to act. Hamlet delays his quest for revenge multiple times throughout the play, despite having set his mind on committing it. This is seen when he begins to questions the validity of the Ghost being his father and the words he spoke about his murder as the truth.“The spirit that I have seen may be the devil, and the devil hath power t’ assume a pleasing shape. Yea, and perhaps out of my weakness and my melancholy… abuses me to damn me. I’ll have grounds more relative than this” (II.ii.575-582). When he made his vow, he did so because he believed wholeheartedly that what he saw was the Ghost of his father. However, as the time since he made his promise continues to increase, he realizes that unless he makes excuses he will have no reason to not have completed his revenge. This is why he throws doubt toward the Ghost instead of himself. Because of this, Hamlet also tries to use logic to explain his reasoning for delaying his revenge. He refuses to kill Claudius while he is praying because he believes that in doing so he is cleansing his sins and will therefore be sent to heaven instead of hell. He says, “This physic but prolongs thy sickly days” (III.iii.97). Once again Hamlet is blaming someone else for his hesitation. He would rather choose to believe that he is doing his father a justice by guaranteeing Claudius will go to hell than admit the weakness he has toward committing the murder. Even though Hamlet wants to avenge his father and wants Claudius to suffer for his actions, he values life much more than he will ever admit to

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