hamlet

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By observing Hamlet’s behavior and efforts to be like his noble father in the Shakespearean play, one can conclude that Hamlet’s tragic flaw is his Herculean ambition. Hamlet strives to retain both his and his family’s noble reputation throughout the play, which affects him and his motivations in every action he makes. He feels that he must live up to Hamlet Sr.’s name, who was certainly a Hercules-like character, having killed the king of Norway. This flaw hinders his endeavor to avenge his father’s unjust murder by Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle. Hamlet reveals his thoughts and emotions in his first soliloquy and instead of using short, sarcastic and bitter fragments of speech as he had until this point, he embarks on a long soliloquy in which the audience realizes how sorrowful and hurt the he is. Hamlet is so depressed that he wishes he could commit suicide, as is revealed in his statement: “Or that Everlasting had not fix’d its canon ‘gainst self-slaughter 1”. He is bitterly angry with his mother, Queen Gertrude, for marrying Claudius and is worried that the family’s nobility and honour has already been marred by their incestuous marriage. The depth of emotion reveals how close Hamlet was with his father and how deeply the fact that others have gotten over Hamlet Sr.’s death so quickly has hurt him. Hamlet’s mood switches very quickly upon his good friend Horatio’s arrival to one of delight. He is relieved to see someone he trusts from Wittenberg, and is obviously reminded of the good life he had prior to his father’s death in what now seems like a far off dream. Hamlet’s reaction to Horatio’s testimony of the ghost of his father reinforces the already surfacing fact that Hamlet misses his father very much. When Horatio depar... ... middle of paper ... ...laudius, who is manipulative and lies, and himself to Hercules: “My father's brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules. 6” However, as time goes on and Hamlet decides to remake himself into a decisive person, he begins to mirror Hercules. His own friend, Horatio, is horrified at the transformation as is evident in his statement: “Why, what a king is this! 7” In the end, this effort to become Hercules is the flaw that leads Hamlet to his demise. He agrees to duel with Laertes even though the whole event seems suspicious and he knows that Laertes blames him for Polonius’ death and Claudius is trying to kill him. Hamlet is convinced that Laertes will forgive him and that the fencing match will end well. He tries to be like his father, who killed the king of Norway in single combat, and Hercules, in a time of crisis. This then, is Hamlet’s fatal flaw.

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