William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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William Shakespeare's Hamlet A tragic play is one in which the protagonist dies through disaster evoked by a combination of personal faults and circumstances out with the character's control. Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is true to this genre, depicting a noble, but flawed, character that is subject to outrageous twists of fate ultimately leading to his demise. However, to what extent can Hamlet's downfall be attributed to his own failings? From the start of the play, the reader is shown a tormented Hamlet, mourning the loss of his father and insulted by his mother's hasty remarriage to his uncle. However, this sadness and disappointment quickly turns to wrath as the ghost of his father reveals to him that it was Hamlet's new stepfather who murdered him. As the play unfolds, all these factors play an integral role in the young prince's untimely end. It is also notable that Hamlet had little control over these events, seeing as his father was killed while he was abroad at university and even if he were there, he would not have been able to intervene, as he would not have known of Claudius' murderous intentions. Similarly, Hamlet was unable to stop Gertrude's marriage to his uncle seen as his protests to that end fell on deaf ears. However, these actions, in themselves, did not cause the massacre that would end the play but rather Hamlet's reactions. For example, Hamlet possessed an unhealthy fascination with his mother and rather than being happy that his mother will now have love and companionship in her new marriage, he harasses her and constantly bemoans the incestuous nature of her union with Claudius. This fascination is perhaps... ... middle of paper ... ...ads to Hamlet's willingness to die, and thus to his kamikaze mission against his uncle. Perhaps the true beauty of Shakespeare is the room he gives to audience to interpret the plays in whatever way they wish. Hamlet is a prime example of this, with perhaps as many different ways to look at it as there are pages in the script. The matter of Hamlet's role in his own demise is one of the play's greatest ambiguities and as such it is impossible to attribute it to one factor, in fact it is the delicate balance struck between unfortunate fate and foolish behaviour that makes Hamlet such a great tragedy. However, the impact of these outrageous twists of fate could have been dampened if not completely averted had Hamlet not reacted as he did and so it is fair to say that overall Hamlet is the one to blame for his own death.
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