You have found the "BEST" Term Paper site on the Planet!

We GUARANTEE that you’ll find an EXEMPLARY College Level Term Paper, Essay, Book Report or Research Paper in seconds or we will write a BRAND NEW paper for you in just a FEW HOURS!!!

150,000+ Papers

Find more results for this search now!

Please enter a keyword or topic phrase to perform a search.
Need a Brand New Custom Essay Now?  click here

Hamlet as an Aristotelian Tragedy

Uploaded by ChemXGurl on Jan 30, 2001

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.

In the opening scenes of the play, the Ghost of old Hamlet reveals the truth about his death to his son, and tells Hamlet to avenge the murder. Hamlet's first response is one that sounds of speedy action, saying "Haste me to know't that I with winds as swift… May sweep to my revenge." (p. 34 lines 29-31) Unfortunately, Hamlet's inability to act on his father's extortion has him reluctant to kill King Claudius by the end of that very scene, when he says, "This time is out of joint, O cursed spite, that I was ever born to set it right." (p. 41 lines 190-191)

As the play goes on, Hamlet still has yet to act on his murderous task. In act II, scene 2, Hamlet decides that, before he can avenge his father's death, he must make sure that the Ghost was telling the truth. This simply gives Hamlet more excuse to procrastinate-he gets to put off killing Claudius until after the "play within a play", Mousetrap, is preformed. Not surprisingly, Hamlets inability to act gets the best of him even after he has obtained his proof that Claudius is guilty, and he can only contemplate the act.

Further evidence of Hamlet's tragic flaw can be found in act III, scene 3. At this point, Hamlet is sure of Claudius' guilt, and has even declared that "Now could I drink hot blood and do such bitter business as the day Would quake to look on." (p. 99 lines 406-408) He comes to find King Claudius alone, and recognizes it as an opportunity to act, but almost immediately talks himself out of action on the bases that the King is praying, and will therefore go to heaven. He decides yet again to delay avenging his father's murder, this time until he can kill the King while he is in a vile condition, such as "When he is...

Sign In Now to Read Entire Essay

Not a Member?   Create Your FREE Account »

Comments / Reviews

read full paper >>

Already a Member?   Login Now >

This paper and THOUSANDS of
other papers are FREE at PlanetPapers.

Uploaded by:   ChemXGurl

Date:   01/30/2001

Category:   Hamlet

Length:   3 pages (581 words)

Views:   1670

Report this Paper Save Paper
Professionally written papers on this topic:

Hamlet as an Aristotelian Tragedy

View more professionally written papers on this topic »