Hamlet: a Tragic Hero of Shakespearean Proportions

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About this sample


Words: 497 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 497|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

In the realm of literary masterpieces, Shakespeare's Hamlet stands tall as a timeless tragedy that continues to captivate audiences across generations. At the heart of this iconic play is the enigmatic protagonist, Hamlet, whose character embodies the essence of a tragic hero. This essay explores the various facets of Hamlet's tragic hero status, focusing on his noble birth, tragic flaw, and inevitable downfall. By analyzing the text and incorporating scholarly perspectives, we will shed light on the question: "How is Hamlet a tragic hero?"
Hamlet's aristocratic lineage and position as the Prince of Denmark undoubtedly contribute to his status as a tragic hero. His noble birth endows him with a sense of entitlement and a duty to uphold his family's honor. The gravity of his actions is intensified by his position in society, as he is burdened with the responsibility of avenging his father's murder. As an heir to the throne, Hamlet's tragic fate impacts not only his personal life but also the stability of the entire kingdom. This notion is supported by scholar A.C. Bradley, who argues that Hamlet's high status amplifies the consequences of his tragic flaw (Bradley, 1904).

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At the core of Hamlet's character lies his tragic flaw, which ultimately leads to his downfall. Hamlet's flaw can be identified as his indecisiveness and inability to take immediate action. This flaw is evident in his prolonged contemplation to avenge his father's death, as he becomes consumed by doubts and existential angst. His constant self-questioning and overthinking prevent him from seizing opportunities and allow his enemies to manipulate his circumstances. Hamlet's tragic flaw is further highlighted by his soliloquies, such as the famous "To be or not to be" speech, where he contemplates the consequences of his actions. This flaw, although relatable, becomes the catalyst for his tragic trajectory.

Hamlet's tragic fate is sealed as he succumbs to his flaws and faces the consequences of his actions. Despite his noble intentions, his inability to act decisively leads to a series of unfortunate events, resulting in the deaths of multiple characters, including himself. As the play progresses, Hamlet's mental state deteriorates, and his actions become increasingly erratic. His obsession with revenge blinds him to the collateral damage caused by his pursuit. The tragic downfall of Hamlet can be seen as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the destructive nature of indecisiveness and the consequences of unchecked ambition.

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In conclusion, Hamlet undeniably embodies the characteristics of a tragic hero. His noble birth, tragic flaw, and inevitable downfall are all integral elements that align with the established conventions of tragic heroism. Shakespeare masterfully crafts a complex character that resonates with audiences through the ages. Through Hamlet, we witness the consequences of inaction and the tragic price of indecisiveness. As we delve into the depths of this tragic hero's psyche, we are reminded of the universal themes of human frailty and the consequences of our choices. Hamlet's journey serves as a timeless reminder that even those destined for greatness can be undone by their tragic flaws.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Hamlet: A Tragic Hero of Shakespearean Proportions. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 21, 2024, from
“Hamlet: A Tragic Hero of Shakespearean Proportions.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2024,
Hamlet: A Tragic Hero of Shakespearean Proportions. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Jul. 2024].
Hamlet: A Tragic Hero of Shakespearean Proportions [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jul 21]. Available from:
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