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Hamlet as a Tragic Hero


As we know, there are different types of tragedies; Aristotle discussed a specific type which includes what was once called Peripeteia, Hamartia and Anagnorisis. He said a catastrophe is identified by a tragic hero or heroine who experiences a change or reversal in fortune (peripeteia) which is brought on by an individual flaw or error (hamartia). The failure of the hero in a tragedy need to not be, however, brought on by an external force such as a higher power, whether in the kind of gods, fate or even society; it must be the outcome of an action– or lack of action– performed by the hero.

Lastly, the hero must achieve a sort of discovery or acknowledgment (anagnorisis) about destiny or the will of the gods, what Aristotle called “a change from lack of knowledge to awareness of a bond of love or hate.” These are all characteristics that make a perfect Greek tragedy. Nevertheless, our purpose is to evaluate William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, a Renaissance catastrophe; therefore, the concern at hand is, could Hamlet, prince of Denmark, potentially be called and defined as a tragic hero?

Our very first instinct is to state no, once we begin questioning ourselves and truly checking out the character and all that he goes through throughout the play, our answers may alter. In ‘Hamlet’ the three specifying moments in Greek catastrophe discussed above, if truly present, are linked and closely linked together. We will try to equate those essential aspects present in Aristotle’s description into a completely different kind of tragedy such as? Hamlet’ and see how they would portray themselves in Shakespeare’s words.

Later on, we will analyze this English author’s operate in regards to the imagery found in the play at hand. We should start at the core of the play: the apparition of the ghost. Before the ghost of the previous king of Denmark, Hamlet senior, makes his look, all we know is that Hamlet’s dad has actually passed away, that his uncle has actually taken the throne and has actually married his late sibling’s wife. As soon as we hear the ghost’s statement the plot of the play is set in movement; Hamlet goes from lack of knowledge to knowledge– that is, if we select to think that there really is a ghost which the ghost speaks the fact.

The spirit tells the prince of Denmark that he was killed and by none aside from his own bro; we could take this as the prince’s minute of recognition, when, in a way, his whole fate modifications. He now has a new purpose in life, to avenge his father’s death. The bond of love and love he felt for his uncle is now totally distorted and developed into pure hatred, anger and a thirst for revenge. The next step in our analysis is our ‘awful hero’s’ change in fortune. As we know, Hamlet’s strategy was to get back at his uncle, and in Act III, Scene III he has the perfect chance when he walks in on Claudius hoping, My fault is previous.

But O, what form of prayer Can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder?’ That can not be, since I am still have ‘d Of those effects for which I did the murder– My crown, mine own aspiration and my queen. May one be pardon ‘d and retain the offence? Hamlet, however, hesitates and decides not to kill Claudius while in prayer because he would go to heaven, therefore his desire for vengeance would not be pleased. To take him in the purging of his soul, When he is healthy and season ‘d for passage? No. Up, sword, and understand thou a more ghastly hent.

What Hamlet was not familiar with was that Claudius was not requesting for forgiveness due to the fact that, as he says, the reasons for which he committed the murder, his aspiration and his desire for the crown and the queen, still possess him, therefore he does not regret what he did. My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without ideas never to heaven go. From this point forward everything simply goes downhill. Hamlet missed his one shot all due to the fact that of his lack of action. Here is where we present the last piece of our analysis.

Hamlet’s awful defect could be his indecisiveness on how to proceed and carry out his strategies or maybe his procrastination; whatever it is, he made a conscious mistake which made him entirely accountable for later occasions, his death, Laertes’, his mom’s and Ophelia’s. The prince eventually brought about his own failure. ‘Hamlet’, as a tragedy, definitely differs from the Greek mold, however it is safe to state that not entirely. I think Shakespeare’s character could be considered as a sort of terrible hero if we choose to associate occasions the way we have throughout this paper. Naturally, there is no chance to determine whether or ot Hamlet genuinely is a tragic hero such as Aristotle suggested to depict them, it is all subjective. In my opinion, the idea is not too overreaching or farfetched; I in fact think it is a legitimate method of examining this most fascinating character. Our other purpose was to evaluate the images, and a lot of specifically the nature images, found in the play. In ‘Hamlet’, Shakespeare appears to depend on nature (plants, weather, animals, and so on) a lot to reveal what the characters are feeling. When it pertains to analyzing particularly how he thought of the state and individuals of Denmark, one word is key: weeds.

The weed is specified as “A plant thought about unwanted, unattractive, or bothersome, specifically one growing where it is not wanted, as in a garden.” During the time of late King Hamlet’s rule, Denmark was considered, as prince Hamlet calls it in Act I Scene II, “an unweeded garden”; however, when Claudius murders his sibling the king and takes the crown, his sin, greed and corruption bring decay to the kingdom. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” states Marcellus in Act I, Scene IV. The weed is the symbol of death and poison in Denmark. Claudius poisoned Hamlet’s daddy and is now poisoning everybody else with his deceit.

In the future in Act III, Scene IV, while talking with his mom Hamlet says, Whiles rank corruption, mining all within, Contaminates unseen. Confess yourself to paradise, Repent what’s past, prevent what is to come, And do not spread out the garden compost on the weeds, To make them ranker. He is informing her to open her eyes and understand how her brand-new king is contaminating their country; he then asks her not to keep helping him in doing so– not to spread out the compost on the weeds any longer. We can state, without a doubt, that throughout the entire play Shakespeare refers to the state of Denmark and its individuals as if they were a garden.

Understanding the nature imagery in ‘Hamlet’ is important to comprehending the true meaning behind the play. Denmark utilized to be a gorgeous, healthy garden until its garden enthusiast was poisoned; when there was suddenly a brand-new garden enthusiast the earth and the plants began dying and no one did anything to repair it. The subtle way in which Shakespeare has the ability to utilize metaphor and simile over and over once again in his works without it getting tedious or discouraging is most likely one of the reasons he is considered the best writer in the English language.

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