Tragic Flaw

When discussions arise on great literary works, William Shakespeare’s popular tragedy, Hamlet, ranks among the best. Often referenced as a source of excellence for playwrights, the apparent stereotypical, melodramatic, female depictions cannot be overlooked. While gender differences exists through characters Hamlet, Claudius, and Gertrude, collectively, they all affect the overall plot and outcome.

Tragic characters play an effective, leading role in a tragedy. The leading role that a tragic character assumes normally controls the actions and reactions of a setting. Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet is no different, effectively exposing the vulnerabilities and short comings of tragic characters, Hamlet and Claudius; while providing the overall worth of Gertrude and Ophelia. Tragic characters, often take part in an irrational, avoidable plot, resulting into a drawn-out moral lesson. Literary analyst Authur Kirsch, elaborates on his perception of Shakespeare’s tragic hero themes stating “The irony is in a large sense, ‘comic,’ but it only exacerbates the passion for the heroes. ‘Shakespeare’s heroes not only are obviously subject to the evanescence of human passion, but they constantly protest against it, and that consciousness and ultimately unavailing protest constitute a substantial part of their suffering”(Kirsch 87). Tragic characters are afforded many opportunities to resolve situations but it seems, driven emotions have blinded them from avoidable flaws, especially in the case of Prince Hamlet.

Hamlet, one of the most, memorable characters, embodies the term tragic hero. Shakespeare introduces the young prince, by displaying his innocence contrasted to the evil that encompasses him. The murder of his father as well as the impul...

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Works Cited

Tiffany, Grace. "Hamlet, reconciliation, and the just state." Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 58.2 (2005): 111+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 25 Nov. 2011.

Bradley, A. C. "Shakespeare's Tragic Period- 'Hamlet'' and ' 'Hamlet'." Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on ' Hamlet', 'Othello', 'King Lear', 'Macbeth'. 2nd ed. Macmillan, 1905. 79-128. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Laurie Lanzen Harris. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1984. Literature Resource Center. Web. 26 Nov. 2011

Smith, Rebecca. "A Heart Cleft in Twain: The Dilemma of Shakespeare's Gertrude." The Woman's Part: Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare. Ed. Carolyn Ruth Swift, Lenz Gayle Greene, and Carol Thomas Neely. 1980. 194-208. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Dana Ramel Barnes. Vol. 35. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. Literature Resource Center. Web. 26 Nov. 2011.

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