Finding the Fatal Flaw in Hamlet William Shakespeare’s works in which the protagonist portrays a major flaw that ultimately ends with a dramatic conclusion is called a Shakespearean tragedy. The main character has the ability to be a hero however he is unable to prevail his fault. These imperfections the protagonist has are referred to as ‘fatal flaws’. In Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” Hamlet’s fatal flaw is his inability to follow through with his actions; he could not commit to suicide, nor to killing his father’s murderer while he is praying. Committing suicide is considered a sin in religious faith. Immediately following King Hamlet’s death, Queen Gertrude abruptly marries Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. Flabbergasted …show more content…
He also struggles with the unknown. In Shakespeare’s most famous soliloquy Hamlet states “To be, or not to be, that is the question…Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep….” (1051). Hamlet is wondering if it is better to be alive and miserable, or fight for what he believes is morally right and die. He is apprehensive about the mystery of what is beyond the grave. Does one act asleep and have no consciousness? Is there a Heaven? These are questions Hamlet asks himself. Dr. Seema Rana agrees that Hamlet has an “… irresolute and wavering mind, and his incapacity for all human beings” (158). The unsteadiness of the situation limits his ability to focus on what his father’s spirit instructs him to …show more content…
When encountering King Hamlet’s ghost, Hamlet is told that his Uncle Claudius poured poison into the king’s ear while he was sleeping. King Hamlet’s spirit asks for retaliation. Agreeing with Domínguez-Rué and Mrotzek “Hamlet’s main problem is that he must avenge his father’s death (674). Instead of getting revenge on Claudius immediately, Hamlet procrastinates by putting on “The Mousetrap”, a reenactment of his father’s murder. Hamlet hopes the play’s title will trigger a response in Claudius. Once he sees Claudius’s shocking reaction to the murder scene, Hamlet confirms his suspicions toward the new King. He follows the King, prepared to avenge his father’s death and sees Claudius confessing his sins to God. However, Claudius is not truly confessing, therefore the situation is dramatic irony. Robert W. Flint confirms by stating “Hamlet feels, with the King, that heaven keeps an audit of human deeds, and he is unwilling to kill the praying King for fear he might go to heaven—and herein is a double irony since the audience knows that prayer is useless, the King having forgotten the true meaning of it” (23). Another possible reasoning for not killing the king is “because at that time the sudden death of the King might cause panic to the people and danger to the state” (Junqing 2077). It is possible Hamlet; Prince of Denmark was indeed looking
There are a lot of flaws in a character which could lead to his downfall, like in the famous movie, Batman, where the craziness of the Joker leads to his downfall. In many movies and even in the real world there are character traits which can lead to someones downfall. Also in the Elizabethan tragedy play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, there are many persons which have character flaws. Hamlet, known for its exciting action and tragic characters, is about Prince Hamlet whose father is murdered by his uncle. Prince Hamlet tries to get revenge for his father by
During the first act, Prince Hamlet meets the ghost of his father, King Hamlet. His father's ghost tells Hamlet that Claudius poured poison in his ear while he slept. The spirit also explains that he wishes for Hamlet to avenge his death, but not to punish Queen Gertrude for marrying Claudius. He tells Hamlet that she will have to answer to her conscience, and eventually God for her incestuous actions (absoluteshakespeare.com 1 of 4). It was believed during these times that when a person died, especially in such a tragic fashion, that their spirit lingered about while suffering in Purgatory. This could cause a normally virtuous person's spirit to become filled with malevolence and begin to meddle in living men's affairs (en.wikipedia.org 4 of 9). This belief caused Prince Hamlet to want to investigate his father's spirit's claims to ensure that they were indeed true. In order to do this, Prince Hamlet feigns madness in order to remain hidden from members of the court's suspicions while he plots his revenge on King Claudius (www.sparknotes.com 1 of 3). He also takes advantage of a group of actors who come to Elsinore Castle to perform by rewriting a play to recreate the scene of his father's murder. He does this with the hope of flushing a confession out of Claudius' guilty conscience. When Claudius sees the play, he stands up and leaves the room (en.wikipedia.org 5 of 9). After many more events, Claudius' guilt becomes more obvious. Claudius then begins to change his focus towards killing Hamlet, as he is beginning to become aware of the Prince's plans to kill him. Claudius then arranges a fencing match between Hamlet and Polonius' son Laertes and has Laertes poison the blade of one of his swords to be used in the match (Hamlet).
As human beings we are bound to be flawed & bound to act upon one’s natural instincts without foreseeing the effects those actions carried by us will bring. In William Shakespeare “The Tragedy of Hamlet” we are brought upon the true affect a death has brought towards a prince, not being just any death but of its father who has returned as a spirit to let hamlet acknowledge that he was murdered by his Uncle Claudius. Rage has filled this young soul and the desire to revenge his father takes him to what most of his family believes is insanity. He is tormented by a decision he’s yet to accomplish of making his father’s murderer who’s now married to his mother pay or to let him live and betray his word of vengeance he promised his father. According to Samuel Taylor Coleridge Hamlet is both “amiable and excellent in nature” but with one quality of waiting to long and not taking true actions, what Coleridge fails to acknowledge is that Hamlet is not made to be a perfected character he is flawed with sensitivity, a vulgar approach and a
As a Shakespearean hero, Hamlet must accept the control of a Higher Power, especially when it comes to his own death. Throughout the play Hamlet expresses a changing attitude towards death in several soliloquies that he performs. Hamlet goes from a confused soul in despair to a noble and faithful man.
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic tragedy style play set in Denmark during the middle ages. The story depicts a young prince Hamlet, who returns home to Denmark in order to attend his father’s funeral, where he is shockingly surprised at what he finds out. His mother, Gertrude, has already been remarried to a man named Claudius and he has been named king despite Hamlet’s right to the throne. Hamlet’s father comes to him as a ghost and confirms his suspicions in regards to King Hamlet being poisoned by Claudius. Prince Hamlet is asked to avenge his father and set everything straight so the King can pass on peacefully, but the Prince is unsure if the ghost is genuine. In order to set things straight, Hamlet puts on a play he calls, The Mousetrap, in order to sniff out some answers and ultimately lead him to aspire to kill Claudius. As a result, Hamlet gets Polonius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Ophelia, and Laertes all killed in the process of his quest. In the final part of the play, Hamlet kills Laertes with his own poisonous sword, and then kills Claudius, shortly before he himself dies of poison.
After Hamlet’s mother became remarried Hamlet felt that there was something wrong. He was suspicious of his Uncle, and already grief stricken, Hamlet’s suspicions were doubled, One night he was told his father’s ghost had appeared, and upon meeting this spirit he was told that the new king, Claudius, has poured poison into the old king’s ear while he slept. Outraged and wanting revenge, Hamlet began planning. Seemingly insane, as you people that defend him may think, he wandered about the castle, making no since when he spoke, and not seeming to be very princely at all.
Hamlet expresses, “The spirit that I have seen / May be a devil, and the devil hath power / T’assume a pleasing shape, yea, and perhaps, / Out of my weakness and my melancholy, / As he is very potent with such spirits, / Abuses me to damn me” (2.2.585-90). With this doubt obscuring his mind, Hamlet seems completely unable to act. This indecision is somewhat settled in the form of the play. Hamlet comes up with the idea of the play that is similar to the events conveyed by the ghost about his murder to prove Claudius guilty or innocent. After the players performed the Mousetrap, Claudius is confounded with guilt, therefore; he begins to pray. Claudius beseeched, “My fault is past – but O, what form of prayer / Can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder?’ / That cannot be, since I am still possess’d / Of those effects for which I did the murder – / My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. / May one be pardon’d and retain th’offence” (3.3.51-56)? When Hamlet walked in on Claudius kneeling, he is indecisive by the thought of killing Claudius right then and there. By purifying himself with prayer, Hamlet feels that Claudius will not get the afterlife he deserves if he kills
act. In each and every tragedy play there is a tragic hero who bears a
Hamlet’s anger and grief- primarily stemming from his mother’s marriage to Claudius- brings him to thoughts of suicide, which only subside as a result of it being a mortal and religious sin. The fact that he wants to take his own life demonstrates a weakness in his character; a sense of cowarness, his decision not to kill himself because of religious beliefs shows that this weakness is balanced with some sense of morality. Such an obvious paradox is only one example of the inner conflict and turmoil that will eventually lead to Hamlet’s downfall.
During the play, Hamlet seems to be one of the most rational thinkers in the text. The ill marriage to Hamlet’s mother Gertrude gives Hamlet more reason to disagree and act out against Claudius and his government. It was Hamlet’s “Mouse trap” that provides the standard as being one of his most aggressive acts through the text. His reinacting of King Hamlet’s death in front of Claudius seems to be the ideal concept behind trying to force Claudius into feeling guilty over what he has done. It seems that Hamlet does such a thing so that he is given more reason to actually act out on the desires he has of killing Claudius. Prior to this excerpt in the text, it is Hamlet’s conscience and mind that keeps him hesitating and making excuses for what he truly wants to do. ...
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a tragic play about murder, betrayal, revenge, madness, and moral corruption. It touches upon philosophical ideas such as existentialism and relativism. Prince Hamlet frequently questions the meaning of life and the degrading of morals as he agonizes over his father’s murder, his mother’s incestuous infidelity, and what he should or shouldn’t do about it. At first, he is just depressed; still mourning the loss of his father as his mother marries his uncle. After he learns about the treachery of his uncle and the adultery of his mother, his already negative countenance declines further. He struggles with the task of killing Claudius, feeling burdened about having been asked to find a solution to a situation that was forced upon him.Death is something he struggles with as an abstract idea and as relative to himself. He is able to reconcile with the idea of death and reality eventually.
Once Hamlet has learned of his father’s death, he is faced with a difficult question: should he succumb to the social influence of avenging his father’s death? The Ghost tells Hamlet to “revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (1.5.31) upon which Hamlet swears to “remember” (1.5.118). Hamlet’s immediate response to this command of avenging his father’s death is reluctance. Hamlet displays his reluctance by deciding to test the validity of what the Ghost has told him by setting up a “play something like the murder of (his) father’s” (2.2.624) for Claudius. Hamlet will then “observe his looks” (2.2.625) and “if he do blench” (2.2.626) Hamlet will know that he must avenge his father’s death. In the course of Hamlet avenging his father’s death, he is very hesitant, “thinking too precisely on the event” (4.4.43). “Now might I do it…and he goes to heaven…No” (3.3.77-79) and Hamlet decides to kill Claudius while “he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, or in th’ incestuous pleasure of his bed” (3.3.94-95). As seen here, Hamlet’s contradicting thought that Claudius “goes to heaven” (3.3.79) influences him to change his plans for revenge. Hamlet eventually realizes that he must avenge his father’s death and states “from this time forth my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth” (4.4.69). From this, Hamlet has succumbed to the social influence and has vowed to avenge his father’s death.
In the play, Hamlet seeks revenge on his uncle Claudius. Claudius killed Hamlet’s dad and then married his mom to become the leader of Denmark. Later in the play, Hamlet sees his dad’s ghost and is informed of the horrific act committed by his uncle. Hamlets’ dad’s ghost says, “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (I. V. 25). Hamlets’ dad says this to Hamlet so that his uncle could get retribution for his action. Hamlet has many opportunities to kill Claudius but is unable because of the wrong timing. While Claudius is praying, Hamlet has an opportunity to slay him but doesn’t because if he killed him in his prayers he will make him go to heaven instead of hell. Another minor reason for Hamlet’s revenge against his uncle is his affection towards his mother. As the play progresses, we are able to determine that Hamlet’s relationship with his mom is close to incest status. With this information, we are able ...
Hamlet's fatal flaw is his inability to act. Unlike his father, Hamlet lets his intelligence rather than his heroism govern him. When he has a chance to kill Claudius, and take vengeance for his father's murder, he hesitates, reckoning that if he kills the man while he is at prayer, Claudius would have asked for pardon from the Lord and been forgiven of his sins, therefore allowing him to enter Heaven. Hamlet decides to wait for a better opening. His flaw of being hesitant in the end leads to his own death, and also the deaths of Gertrude, Ophelia, Laertes, and Claudius.
As illustrated through his speeches and soliloquies Hamlet has the mind of a true thinker. Reinacting the death of his father in front of Claudius was in itself a wonderful idea. Although he may have conceived shcemes such as this, his mind was holding him back at the same time. His need to analyze and prove everythin certain drew his time of action farther and farther away. Hamlet continuously doubted himself and whether or not the action that he wanted to take was justifiable. The visit that Hamlet recieves from his dead father makes the reader think that it is Hamlet's time to go and seek revenge. This is notthe case. Hamlet does seem eager to try and take the life of Claudius in the name of his father, but before he can do so he has a notion, what if that was not my father, but an evil apparition sending me on the wrong path? This shows that even with substantial evidence of Claudius' deeds, Hamlet's mind is not content.