Flaws are inevitable traits that all human beings possess, although the flaws may varies from person to person. These traits often lead to the downfall of a man who may have both courage and dignity, but who also has an error in judgment. In William Shakespeare's famous tragedy Hamlet, Prince Hamlet suffers a change in fortune as he falls from happiness to misery after the death of his father. Like other Shakespearean tragic heroes, he is endowed with exceptional qualities such as royal birth, charisma, and popularity. He is very sensitive and religious-minded. He is essentially a scholar and a thinker with a noble brain that conceives the finest thoughts. However, his deep thoughts ultimately destroy his life as they result in inaction, …show more content…
From the very beginning of the play, the audience becomes aware of Hamlet’s on-going self conflict. Deeply impacted by his father’s unexpected death and his mother’s quick marriage to his uncle Claudius, Hamlet views the world as “weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable,” and contemplates ending his seemingly miserable life (1.2.56-61). However, he hesitates because of the moral implications, lamenting that “the Everlasting had not fixed/ His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God, God!...Fie on ’t, ah fie”( 1.2.134-136)! Hamlet weights the benefits against the drawbacks of ending his own life. He recognizes that suicide is a crime in God’s eyes and could thus make his afterlife worse than his present situation. In his famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy, he questions the righteousness of life over death in moral terms and discusses the many possible reasons for either living or dying. When Hamlet utters “To be, or not to be that is the question,” he attempts to pose the question of life versus death in a rational and logical way; however, he is unable to decide whether the “Slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” can be borne out since afterlife is so uncertain (3.1.59). Indeed, he is deeply concerned, fearing “ In that sleep of death what dreams may come”(3.1.61). While he contemplates ending his life, ultimately, Hamlet’s philosophical nature prevents him from doing …show more content…
Hamlet has numerous opportunities to kill Claudius, yet he always waits for a better time, a perfect one. After first hearing of the crime from his father's ghost, Hamlet immediately sets out to take action. Then he becomes doubtful, fearing his father’s ghost “May be the 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”(2.2.627-632). Hamlet then schemes to determine Claudius's guilt by enacting the Mousetrap, a play that delineates Claudius’s murder of the former king. His play succeeds and confirms Claudius’s guilt as his uncle disrupts and flees the play. Hamlet then catches Claudius alone in his chamber, and he goes to kill his uncle. However, when he draws his sword, Hamlet again hesitates, thinking “ Now he is praying/ And now I’ll do’t/ And so he goes to heaven”( 3.3.77-83). Hamlet is eager to damn Claudius’s soul, but he convinces himself that killing Claudius during his prayer will guarantee his uncle’s admission to heaven, thus, denying Hamlet his revenge. Consequently, he forgoes another opportunity to kill this villain, craving a more perfect time. Hamlet always resolves to wait and kill Claudius at another time, forever debating between his impulse and his ideas, “paralyzed by
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Hamlet also procrastinates in parts such as during the protracted Players' scene or during the clown's graveyard scene, for the essential reason that his psychological feelings confuse his ability to confront his destiny. He finds it very difficult to decide whether to kill Claudius or let him be. And also Hamlet's refusal to kill Claudius while he is "praying," even before he realizes that he would send Claudius' soul to heaven Hamlet expresses doubt.
As the play’s tragic hero, Hamlet exhibits a combination of good and bad traits. A complex character, he displays a variety of characteristics throughout the play’s development. When he is first introduced in Act I- Scene 2, one sees Hamlet as a sensitive young prince who is mourning the death of his father, the King. In addition, his mother’s immediate marriage to his uncle has left him in even greater despair. Mixed in with this immense sense of grief, are obvious feelings of anger and frustration. The combination of these emotions leaves one feeling sympathetic to Hamlet; he becomes a very “human” character. One sees from the very beginning that he is a very complex and conflicted man, and that his tragedy has already begun.
Hamlet: Hamlet Defeated By His Own Flaws. In William Shakespeare's well known tragic play, Hamlet, the main character Hamlet is defeated by his own flaws. These flaws are the killing of Polonius, the killing of Claudius, and most of all Hamlet being misled by the Ghost. The killing of Polonius is a major flaw of Hamlets because it got him killed by Laertes. Also the killing of his uncle Claudius was tragic, since he was his uncle and he made Hamlet very angry towards his mother.
This essay will discuss several literary criticisms of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. After skimming through several articles, I ended up with four peer-reviewed journal articles, each a different critical perspectives of the play: feminist, psychoanalytical/freudian, moral, and new historicism. My previous studies of Hamlet, as well as my rereading of the play this semester, has collectively given me a general knowledge of the text. My familiarity of the play made it easier for me to decipher the academic journals and see the connections each critic made with the play.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the center of controversy in more ways than one. Hamlet, the play’s main character is the textbook quintessential person to be defined as a tragic hero. His noble intentions of taking revenge for his father form in the beginning of the play; however as the play comes to a close the only conceivable ending to polish off the final act is his own death. While his death is in the final act, Hamlet does not live far enough into the play to see his work come together in its entirety. Just as the classic tragic hero, Hamlet possesses a tragic flaw. While there are many flaws in Hamlets character, it is his understanding of the power of words and language
Hamlet has evidently shown in the play how his uncertainty in his decisions slows him down in killing Claudius. His indecisiveness makes spend more time thinking about the situation and the possible outcomes. In act 2 scene, Hamlet has yet to fulfil his promise to his father. Hamlet is holding himself back from avenging his father. Hamlet refuses to act as if he knows what he is doing when in reality, he has not found out whether the act of killing is heroic and moral or cowardly and immoral. “O vengeance! Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave, that I, the son of a dear father murdered, prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, must, like a who 're, unpack my heart with words and fall a-cursing like a very drab, a scullion! Fie upon’t, for!” (2.2 579-585). Despite all this, instead of taking revenge immediately, Hamlet wants to find out whether his ghostly father is telling the truth. This takes a while as Hamlet would eventually realize it is true later in the play. Hamlet had a so much time to kill King Claudius but it is his uncertainty of his father 's words that delays the revenge. Later in act 3 scene 3, King Claudius is seen kneeling in prayer as he confesses his sins.
In the tragic play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, a particular deterrent in Hamlet's quest to be rid of his regal uncle is his procrastination. This act of murder intended to set the future right is Hamlet's sole responsibility, ordered by his deceased father. Hamlet's main target throughout the play is for Claudius to commit suicide. To achieve this goal, he produces a play chiefly for the king called the "Mousetrap." This play is used as one of many tools for Hamlet's indirect manipulation of Claudius's mind. Just as a mousetrap lures a pest to its own self-destruction while in search of ways to gratify itself, so does Hamlet use the play as a lure to trap the king in his own conscience. Claudius's possible suicide would be the result of the guilt traps Hamlet sets with the use of mental stratagem.
With Hamlet being generally labeled as the best tragic hero ever created, it is ironic that his tragic flaw has never been as solidly confirmed as those of most of his fellow protagonists. There is Macbeth with his ambition, Oedipus with his pride, Othello with his jealousy, and all the others with their particular odd spots. Then there is Hamlet. He has been accused of everything and of nothing, and neither seems to stick. Flaws are carved out of obscure conversations when he may or may not be speaking truthfully and alleged from instances of his own self-discipline. They are bored into him with the bits of psychological drills invented long after Shakespeare's hand crafted him. But Hamlet is made of that which resists these things. He has no obvious flaw or internal fault.
Hamlet’s psychological influence demonstrates his dread of both death and life. In Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, “To be or not to be” (3.1.64), he refers the “be” to life and further asks “whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (18.104.22.168). By this, Hamlet is asking himself the question of whether to live or die.
Throughout Hamlet, written by Shakespeare, Hamlet’s emotions, actions, and thoughts cause much trouble during the play. Hamlet encounters stages of sarcasm, inanity, suicidal tendencies/self-deprecation, and procreation/indecision which develop not only his personality but the play itself. Hamlet uses sarcasm to express his emotions, pretends to be insane (ultimately leading him to become truly insane), self-deprecates throughout the play due to family events, and procrastinates because he is indecisive. Hamlet encounters many life-altering events throughout the play such as his uncle poisoning his father and quickly remarrying Hamlet’s mother, to accidentally killing Polonius thinking it was Claudius, all the way to debating upon: his own death and how to kill his uncle-father Claudius. Hamlet’s decisions and feelings alter his relationship with friends and family, his personality, and the development of the play.
In the early stages of the narrative, Hamlet's admirable qualities are clearly in focus - his loyalty, his moral integrity, his intellect, and his sense of self. At the same time, the circumstances within which he finds himself are equally clear, surrounded by morally corrupt and personally ambitious manipulators (Claudius, Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern), self-deluders (Gertrude), weaklings (Ophelia), and the intellectually limited (Horatio and just about all the other characters - only Claudius comes close to being an intellectual match). Over the course of the narrative, Hamlet struggles with increasing intensity to hold on to his values while facing choices that directly challenge those values, eventually finding himself corrupted
Hamlet comes upon Claudius praying and realizes that he cannot kill the King, while he is praying because he would go to heaven (Javed 330). Hamlet says to himself, “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying; and now I’ll do’t, and so he goes to heaven” (Shakespeare 3. 3. 73-75). Hamlet soon rethinks his plan of revenge on Claudius. Throughout the entire play, the audience keeps wondering, “Why doesn 't he just kill him already?” Hamlet wants Claudius to suffer and realize the hate Hamlet has for him (Javed
According to the Aristotelian view of tragedy, a tragic hero must fall through his or her own error. This is typically called the "tragic flaw", and can be applied to any characteristic that causes the downfall the hero. Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark can be seen as an Aristotelian tragedy and Hamlet as it's tragic hero. Hamlet's flaw, which in accordance with Aristotle's principles of tragedy causes his demise, is his inability to act. This defect of Hamlet's character is displayed throughout the play.
These flaws however, do not cause a downfall and a death of a hero. The flaw must be something that goes on inside the character's head, and something that torments him until his final breath. The flaw of Hamlet is that his nature is so excessively concerned about death that he no longer knows right from left. All the deaths of personal relationships and of his father make him think about it, day and night. All Hamlet does, is ponder death and suicide in almost every one of his soliloquies. Everything Hamlet does in this play is centered on something or someone dying that is why his overwhelming interest and curiosity of death will eventually lead him to his own grave.