The Tragic Hero Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

1273 Words Sep 26th, 2016 6 Pages
Hamlet, a play by William Shakespeare, features a character named Hamlet, the play’s namesake. The play itself is a tragedy, as many of Shakespeare’s plays are. Hamlet, being the main, central character of the play, is regarded as the so-called hero of the story. Aristotle, a renowned Greek philosopher, invented the idea of a tragic hero in his Poetics, a work on literary, dramatic theory. Though the character Hamlet does not originate from Greek literature, he, by Aristotle’s criteria, encompasses the qualities of a tragic hero. Hamlet, too, is an Aristotelian tragic hero.
“Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy star. / This must not be” (Shakespeare 2.2.132-3). Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero is comprised of many qualities and facets of character and circumstance. One such quality of character is that of nobility. “He thinks it is most tragic that these people in high status end in bad fortune… The Spanish dramatist Vega once clearly pointed out that there is only one difference between tragedy and comedy, that is, comedy imitates the actions of the inferior people while tragedy imitates kings or nobles” (Liang). Hamlet is born a Prince of Denmark and remains so throughout the play. His renown and popularity reinforce his distinction as a true tragic hero. ”He’s loved of the distracted multitude” (Shakespeare 4.3.4). This is one of the easiest aspects to detect in Aristotle’s criteria, and Hamlet proves his potential as a tragic character here.
Aristotle demands a…

Related Documents