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Hamlet - why is he a tragic figure?

Uploaded by lalaland on Nov 08, 2002

During his lifetime, William Shakespeare composed a numerous number of plays, most of which are considerably famous today. Unlike several authors of his time, his work included a large range of genres upon which he created his plays. One of the most famous tragic plays written by Shakespeare is “Hamlet”. Based on the life of a fictional young Danish prince, Shakespeare explores the emotions that this prince experiences, as he faces the murder of his father, and plots for revenge. Among the many characters included in the play, Hamlet remains one of the more tragic figures. The circumstances he grows up with, in addition to his own nature, and morals, lead to his own destruction.

Hamlet grows up in a very unstable environment, following the death of his father. Being very close to the Late King Hamlet of Denmark, the young prince is even more distraught when his mother soon weds his father’s brother, Claudius. However much he tries, Hamlet continues to have a strong suspicion that something is not right and upon his encounter with his father’s ghost, he very eager to be done with Claudius. He also refers to as a ‘Villain, villain, smiling, damned villain.’(1.5, 31, 106) Yet Hamlet then faces a great dilemma when, he needs proof to prove to the world that Claudius did, in reality, murder Hamlet’s father. Furthermore, Hamlet is still not certain if his father’s ghost be ‘a spirit of health, or a goblin damned.’(1.5, 25, 40). This way, he is not certain if the news that the ghost gives him is in his best interests or not.

Hamlet is portrayed as a very focused young lad, who takes a lot of time to ponder over the meaning of lie, and his own actions. Through the play, Hamlet delivers several soliloquies, all of which seem to revolve over the course of his actions, and death. Included in his famous speech beginning with ‘To be, or not to be: that is the question :’( 3.1, 63, 56), Hamlet discusses whether or not it is worth giving up life and it’s strives by surrendering to death herself. Yet he begins to wonder, ‘To die, to sleep—To Sleep—perchance to dream :’( 3.1, 63, 64-65) and yet. ‘What dreams may come when we have schuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.’(3.1, 63, 66-67). Here, he compares death to sleep, where his conscience fears the...

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Uploaded by:   lalaland

Date:   11/08/2002

Category:   Hamlet

Length:   3 pages (676 words)

Views:   1457

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