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Hamlet-Tragic Hero

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Hamlet as a Tragic Hero

William Shakespeare, the greatest playwright of the English language,

wrote a total of 37 plays in his lifetime, all of which can be categorized under

tragedy, comedy, or history. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Shakespeare's most popular

and greatest tragedy, displays his genius as a playwright, as literary critics

and academic commentators have found an unusual number of themes and literary

techniques present in Hamlet. Hamlet concerns the murder of the king of Denmark

and the murdered king's son's quest for revenge. Its main character, Hamlet,

possesses a tragic flaw which obstructs his desire for revenge and ultimately

brings about his death. This tragic flaw makes him a tragic hero, a character

who is destroyed because of a major weakness, as his death at the end could

possibly have been avoided were it not for his tragic flaw. Hamlet's flaw of

irresolution, the uncertainty on how to act or proceed, is shown when Hamlet

sees a play and the passion the actors had, after Hamlet's third soliloquy, in

Hamlet's fourth soliloquy, and in Hamlet's indecisive pursuit in avenging his

father's death.

First, Hamlet's flaw of irresolution is shown when he sees a play and

the passion one particular actor had. A group of players has arrived and Hamlet

arranges a personal viewing of The Murder of Gonzago with a small portion of his

own lines inserted. Hamlet then observes one portion of the play in which one

of the players put on a great display of emotion. Hamlet, besieged by guilt and

self-contempt, remarks in his second soliloquy of Hamlet of the emotion this

player showed despite the fact that the player had nothing to be emotional about.

Hamlet observed that he himself had all the reason in the world to react with

great emotion and sorrow, yet he...

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