Why Hamlet Is A Tragic Hero And The Play A Classic Tragedy

1012 words - 5 pages

Dear Kylie,

I noticed your submission to Culture Magazine, regarding Shakespeare’s great play “Hamlet”. Having recently studied “Hamlet” in Year 12 English, I think I can help answer one of your questions. You asked why is Hamlet regarded as a tragic hero and the play a classic tragedy?

Before I can answer your question, you must first understand the difference between the meaning of tragedy today and what is meant by tragedy in drama. Whereas a tragedy in life may be considered something such as a death or accident, in drama a tragedy in drama is much more. In a tragedy, although the hero may be in conflict with an opposing force, the cause of his downfall falls ultimately on himself. ...view middle of the document...

He also delivers his final speech telling the audience of his death, “I am dead Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu!” he exclaims after being poisoned by Laertes envenomed rapier.

In a tragedy the pity and fear (known in drama as pathos) is ultimately replaced by an uplifting and suffering (known in drama as catharsis) Hamlet’s acts cause suffering but in the end ultimately achieve learning. Hamlet’s ultimate death teaches the country of Denmark about Claudius’s murder and brings them under the reins of a new ruler Fortinbras of Norway.

A tragic hero must not be purely good or purely evil. If he were purely good we would not understand his actions and if he were purely evil we would expect them. Hamlet is not purely good or purely evil, he is mixture or good and evil. He was intelligent, witty and cheerful and delighted in “flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table in a roar” in the beginning, but he was also in a state of melancholy and irresolution for much of the play. The hero in a tragedy is unable to resist the force. Hamlet cannot live knowing Claudius murdered his father and will either take his life or his own. The story focuses on the troubled part. In “Hamlet” this is mostly about his mental state with the famous “To Be, Or Not to be” being an expression of his thoughts on suicide.

In “Hamlet”, as in all tragedies, the tragedy is in the suffering and the whole story, not in the death. We feel pity and fear for the hero, because we feel sorry for his cause and we fear what will happen if he does not carry out his actions. In tragedies, the flaw dominates the hero. In “Hamlet” this is the case for much of the play, he does try to kill the King earlier on but in a mistake of judgement murders Polonious instead, but from this accident he carries on his procrastination and hurts and...

Other Papers Like Why Hamlet Is A Tragic Hero And The Play A Classic Tragedy

Hamlet a Tragedy? Essay

1546 words - 7 pages Chris Hehnly Hamlet Mr. Skinner 15 February 2010 Hamlet, A Tragedy? For Centuries Hamlet has been thought of as Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. It has been put on hundreds of thousands of times and everyone that sees it comes out of the theatre thinking it is a tragedy. However it is a play about the human struggle of life and how hamlet deals with it. Yes he dies in the end but through out the play he shows how he successfully faces

Is Macbeth an Evil Villain or Simply a Tragic Hero?

1620 words - 7 pages Is Macbeth an evil villain or simply a tragic hero? What makes a character a true tragic hero? All tragic heroes have the same qualities; an honorable person who is doomed for a tragic downfall; the situation usually makes them suffer and feel guilty. Would Macbeth be considered an evil villain or noble man? Throughout the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, it is clear to see that Macbeth is a man who was influenced by the wrong people

Willy Loman- A Tragic Hero

901 words - 4 pages Willy Loman - A Tragic Hero Is dying a way to become a tragic hero? According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is defined as a literary character who makes a judgement error that leads to his/her own destruction. Most tragic heroes hold a position that is of a noble stature. Willy Loman is the main character in the play, Death of a Salesman and displays the rise and fall of a tragic hero. Many people may not consider Willy a tragic

Considering Macbeth As A Tragic Hero

2084 words - 9 pages Considering Macbeth as a Tragic Hero In the play "Macbeth", Macbeth is known as "brave Macbeth" but the end of the play knows him as "this dead butcher". In the beginning he was a brave heroic warrior and everyone admired him. He had many noble qualities, but he had one fatal flaw, which was "ambition". Although you may think that ambition is a good quality, it is only good when you are ambitious for something good

Macbeth:King Of A Greater Evil, An Essay About Why Macbeth Is The Guiltiest In The Play

578 words - 3 pages Macbeth wanting to be King is understandable (who would not want to be given all of that honor and power), but if Macbeth really believed the witches then he should have thought he would become King in a natural way.Macbeth did not seem to have the worst intentions or the cruelest heart in this play though. Towards the end of the play when Macbeth's wife has died and the battle is drawing closer Macbeth shows this He wishes for a normal life

What Is a Hero?

1018 words - 5 pages What is a hero? What is a hero? By definition a hero is “a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities" (Hero). We could even look as far back as the Greeks, with their gods and demigods, humans born with super natural powers that could take out an entire city with a flick of their wrist, because of their powers they were called heroes. These gods were feared and worshiped, religions were started because of their tales and

What A Hero Is

1490 words - 6 pages When the word "hero" is spoken, everyone has different thoughts. Some will think of super powers like flying and saving people from villains; while others have a certain person they know or have heard of that come to mind who have done something to make a difference in the lives of others but who is a hero to you? To answer this question you must first ask yourself what a hero is; what comes to your mind when someone says the word. When I am

Macbeth: the Tragic Hero

1264 words - 6 pages witches and their prophecies. When Shakespeare wrote this play he slowed down the process of the tragedy so that the audience would acknowledge and experience Macbeth’s success and happiness; slowing signs appeared with foreshadowing techniques leading to the climax of the play as Macbeth headed to his tragic flaw. In the process of the tragedy Macbeth starts as a brave respected warrior, then later is fooled by the witches with prophecies, and

Death Of A Salesman: The Tragic Anti-Hero Of Willy Loman

1037 words - 5 pages . In Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is a textbook example of a failure as a good father in every way mentioned previously. Not only is Willy Loman not a good father and husband, but he furthers his failure by being a classic anti-hero and by failing to achieve the American Dream.Willy is not a good father for many reasons. First and foremost, he has made his occupation his number one priority. For years, he has traveled for his

Beowulf, the Tragic Hero

630 words - 3 pages previously, Beowulf always put people before himself, which embraced his characteristics of a tragic hero. Last but not least, Beowulf battles the dragon. It began with a slave that had stolen a golden cup from the dragon’s lair. For the final time, Beowulf’s over confident ego ties into it one final time. We know at this point in time, that Beowulf is at an old age and is becoming weak. Therefore, he insists to fight the dragon by himself. Beowulf’s

The Tragic Hero, Macbeth

1295 words - 6 pages Through The Tragedy of Macbeth, the readers witness the rise and fall of the power of Macbeth from a loved and respected nobleman to a feared tyrant. He is a tragic hero who was brought to his demise by his own ambition, guilt, fear and self-doubt. Macbeth is pictured as a valiant hero, a courageous warrior, and one of King Duncan's most favored generals. Macbeth's greed first became apparent upon meeting the three witches whose prophecies told

Related Essays

Marcus Brutus: The Tragic Hero In The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar

1186 words - 5 pages In Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, the title leads the mind to believe that Caesar is the tragic hero; however, this is not the case. The noble Brutus is a much more accurate fit for the role of tragic hero. A tragic hero is a character with a tragic flaw that goes from good fortune to complete misfortune in a fairly quick downfall. Although some may argue that Caesar fits this depiction, Brutus is a better choice. He goes

Is Doctor Jekyll A Tragic Hero?

725 words - 3 pages Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: is Jekyll a tragic hero? Dr. Jekyll is certainly one of the most complex and layered characters in the novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. His character can be interpreted in many ways. In order to describe Jekyll as a tragic hero, one first must decide what a tragic hero is. A tragic hero is someone who was born into wealth or nobility. Also the character must be someone of great respect

Macbeth: A Tragic Hero Essay

1502 words - 7 pages their fortune. The tragic hero must begin in a high position and end in death or some sort of degraded role” (Definitions of Tragedy). Based on human nature, Aristotle’s philosophy of tragedy, and current literary criticism of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the main character, Macbeth, is classified as a tragic hero.      Born in 384 B.C. at Stagirus, well known philosopher Aristotle was a student to Plato for over twenty years

Macbeth A Tragic Hero Essay

708 words - 3 pages MacBeth In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the character of Macbeth is discovered to be a classic example of a tragic hero. Macbeth is a very ambitious and courageous person who lets three main things turn him into a violent individual. Two of the points, which most greatly contribute to Macbeth’s fall, are the prophecy, which were told to him by the witches, and how Lady Macbeth influenced and manipulated Macbeth's judgment. These