A tragic hero is defined as “a character in literature who has a fatal flaw that is combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy”(site). Both Hamlet from William Shakespeare 's play Hamlet, and Jay Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald 's novel The Great Gatsby share many similar fatal flaws in their stories that eventually lead them to their ultimate demises, thus they both the definition of a tragic hero. The first fatal flaw they share is that Hamlet and Gatsby both have a false sense of character in their stories. The next fatal flaw they both possess is that Hamlet and Gatsby are both overambitious in pursuing their goals. The final fatal flaw they share is that Hamlet and Gatsby both have love for a particular woman, which affects the decisions they both make. These three similar fatal flaws shared by Hamlet and Gatsby both lead to their demise and thus they both fit the definition of a tragic hero.
Hamlet and Gatsby both have a similar false sense of character in their stories which lead to their downfall. The false character that Hamlet possesses is a fatal flaw. Hamlet says that he must put “an antic disposition on”.(1.5.173) Hamlet believes that he must have a false character, this will help him in his plan to kill the king. This sense of false character that Hamlet conveys, however, is a fatal flaw that would ultimately lead him to be a tragic hero. This false sense of character is later when realized when Ophelia exclaims, “Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced...with a look so piteous in purport/As if he had been loosed out of hell”(2.1.80-85). Ophelia implies here that she cannot beleive the overall state of Hamlet, she believes that Hamlet no longer loves her. Ove...
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...aisy than Hamlet for Ophelia, as Gatsby buys a house directly across from her and keeps a scrapbook of her, which is almost stalker-like, whereas Hamlet simply sends Ophelia letters and professess his love for her.
Overall, Hamlet from the play Hamlet and Gatsby from the novel The Great Gatsby share many fatal flaws in their stories that eventually lead them to their demise. Again, the fatal flaws are, Hamlet and Gatsby having a false sense of character, Hamlet and Gatsby are both overambitious in pursuing their goals, and that Hamlet and Gatsby both have love for a particular woman which affects the decisions they both made. These reasons show how these fatal flaws are similar in Hamlet and Gatsby,
and how they lead them to their ultimate demises.
Shakespeare,William. Hamlet. Toronto: Harcourt Canada Limited, 2008.
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