Hamlet Tragic Hero Essays

Hamlet Tragic Hero Essays-36
Hamlet fulfills the Aristotelian requirement that the tragic hero invoke in us a deep sense of pity and fear, that we learn from him how not to conduct our lives.

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Hamlet could be, at heart, a brutal misogynist, terrified of love because he is terrified of women.

He verbally abuses Ophelia, using sexual innuendo and derision, and he encourages her to get to a nunnery.

In the tragedies of Shakespeare, the tragic hero is not an ordinary man but of noble stature with an outstanding quality and greatness.

Usually, the hero's own tragic flaw is the cause of his destruction and downfall which create pity and fear in audience.

Another play on words, nunnery, in this instance, symbolizes both sexual abstinence and sexual perversity. Or perhaps his own portrayal of madness — his "antic disposition" — that he dons like a mask or a costume actually drives him. Or is his flaw that he believes he is pretending to be mad? Or could his tragic flaw be that he possesses the same hubris that kills all the great tragic heroes — that be believes he can decide who should live and who should die, who should be forgiven and who should be punished?

In a cloister, Ophelia would take a vow of chastity, and in a brothel, she would serve as the basest sexual object. Then, perhaps, is the ghost a manifestation of his own conscience and not a real presence at all?

Oedipus Rex tells the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes, while in the process he fulfills a prophecy that he murders his father and marries his mother.

Unlike Shakespeare's tragic heroes, in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, the hero is not aware of his flaw until the very end.

But it is only in Macbeth, Lady Macbeth joins hands with the tragic hero Macbeth in killing Duncan.

Othello is the only character that commits suicide.


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