Hamlet - Tragedy

This essay Hamlet - Tragedy has a total of 888 words and 4 pages.

Hamlet - Tragedy


Tragedy treats human beings in terms of their godlike potential, of their transcendental ideals, of the part of themselves that is in rebellion against the implacable universe and the frailty of their own flesh and will. This quote is very applicable to Hamlet in respect to his reverence towards his father and his belief in the divine as the guiding principle, Hamlets own character flaw, Hamlet’s feelings of hopelessness over his own flaw, and his view towards the pointlessness of even existing.

Tragedy, from old, is a character flaw. A flaw can only be found when you are comparing one to a perfect image. Hamlet compares himself to what he sees as “godlike”. Therefore in his own eyes he will never be good enough. King Hamlet embodied all the high moral values and characteristics that Hamlet cherished and respected. King Hamlet was loving, loyal, caring, and smart, a leader, brave, wise, honourable, decent and just. Who could compare themselves to that without falling short.
Hamlet, like most humans, believes that there is a God, and there will be a reckoning of a life’s sins when the end has come for them. We, (generally speaking), “regard the divine as the guiding principle”, therefore it is not a shock when Hamlet cries out passionately “Haste me to know’t; that I, with winds as swift as meditation or the thoughts of love, may sweep to my revenge.” (Act 1, Scene 5, lines 29-31). He accepts that his father, who was “god on earth” whilst he ruled Denmark, is now a spirit from the heavens. Only later does his Aristotelian Tragedy get in the way.
Hamlet displays many character flaws. He is self centered, everything is always about him, “This time is out of joint, O cursed spite, that I was ever born to set it right. (Act 1, Scene 5, lines 190-191) Hamlet is naive, he shows he is astonished that anyone could commit such crimes as murder for the throne, (“O, horrible! O, horrible! Most Horrible!” Act 1, Scene 5, line 81) and an “improper” hasty marriage, (“Frailty, thy name is woman!” Act 1, Scene 2, line 146). But over all, his most prominent character flaw, the one that guides the play and results in his death is his inconsistent approach to problems. When things call for quick, decisive behavior, Hamlet over-thinks and that behavior is put off once again. This happens for example, when Hamlet is poised over Claudius as he is praying, prepared to murder him, and Hamlet talks himself out of it. He knows that Claudius is guilty saying “now could I drink hot blood, and do such bitter business as the day would quake to look on.” (Act 3, Scene 2, lines 381-383)Instead of acting upon his motive he comes up with yet another excuse to post-pone his revenge, saying “And now I’ll do’t: and so he goes to heaven: and so am I revenged. That would be scanned” (Act 3, Scene 3, lines 74-76) When Hamlet is in a situation that should require serious thought he acts impulsively. We see this when Hamlet murders Polonius, thinking that the spy he hears as he talks to his mother simply must be Claudius. In the end, his death is caused by his tragic flaw. His inability to act when necessary and think when needed, results in the King, (who knows Hamlet’s plans of revenge for his father) having enough time to plot with Laeretes, (who has just cause on Hamlet’s life to avenge his own father), subsequently, to Hamlet’s own death.
Hamlet seems to know what his flaw is, and he curses it frequently saying “And spur my dull revenge!” (Act 4, Scene 4, line 32) and “Why yet I live to say, “this things to do, “Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means, to do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me” (Act 4, Scene 4, lines 43-45). Hamlet is disgusted with himself and chastises himself often. He feels guilty for not living up to his own “godlike potential” and following his transcendental ideals about doing as the ghost bid.
Hamlet feels that no matter what he does it won’t matter. He feels the odds are against him, and he is angry at the fate laid out for him.

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Characters in Hamlet, Prince Hamlet, Hamlet, Ghost, Hamartia, Polonius, Thy name is, Critical approaches to Hamlet, Hamlet in popular culture

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