Hamlet As Tragic Hero

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Hamlet as Tragic Hero

Thesis Statement

Hamlet is a Tragic Hero. He is the son of previous king of Denmark, name “Old Hamlet”. Hamlet's father was a hero for him; he killed king of Norway for the settlement of land disputes. Hamlet is not only a tragic hero but also a lover of Ophelia. I prove my thesis by doing critical analysis on the Scene of Hamlet. The story is written by Shakespeare (www.pathguy.com).

Introduction

Claudius carried on with Gertrude, did away with the elder Hamlet, and got widow and throne. Hamlet, as we shall see, does have a psychological problem. Hamlets own words identify the central structure of Hamlet: 'the pass and fall incensed points of mighty opposites' (Act: 5.ii.360-38-82). From the first Hamlet inveighs against Claudius and Gertrude (Act: 1.ii.129.). He expects 'foul play' (Act: 1.v.257); the tone of watchfulness against skullduggery goes right on in Laertes' and Polonius's cautioning Ophelia against Hamlet, and even implicitly in Polonius's rules for Laertes' self- management in the world (1.iii). The Ghost berates Claudius and Gertrude, pushes Hamlet toward revenge, and puts pressure on Marcellus and Horatio to swear as Hamlet asks (Act: 1.v.230-250).

In a world, of moving or guarding against others, surveillance is inevitable: Polonius checks up on Laertes at Paris (Act: 2.i.153); in a parallel action, the King and Queen depute Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to check up on Hamlet (Act: 2.ii.260). Polonius tries to pin Hamlet down (Act: 2.ii.170-223). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern try to catch Hamlet out, but he catches on to them (Act: 4.iv.226-397); then Hamlet sets the theatrical 'mousetrap' to 'catch the conscience of the King' (Act: 5.ii.440-634). This recapitulation of not unusual events should make clear the dominance of certain kinds of action: accusation, resistance, camouflage, reconnaissance, spying, traps, counter-attacks, death- blows. It is a world of war: the duel writ large. Self-protection displaces self-inspection. This, with Hamlet's answering 'Heaven make thee free of it!' In Claudius, tragic self-awareness is more amply developed. Some chances words of Polonius make Claudius exclaim, 'How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience' (Act: 3.i.50).

Give Claudius the centre of the stage, and he becomes Macbeth: conscience pushed down by affairs. Both men are cursed with courage in mortal combat: it absorbs the moral energy called for by the clear vision of self. What is exciting about Gertrude and Claudius is the introduction of moral self-consciousness into characters that could so easily be relegated to conventional villainy. We may see a man gradually coming into a new understanding of him, as we do Oedipus or Lear; or a man may reveal his different perspective by direct self-criticism or by the metamorphic self-criticism of asking forgiveness or giving some other sign of humility. Hamlet can assure Horatio, with whom he need strike no attitudes, 'But I am very sorry, good Horatio, that to Laertes I forgot myself' (Act: 5.ii.75-86). There is a somewhat analogous mixture, or even ambiguity, of motives in Hamlet's dialogue with Gertrude. Justification of self and blame of others is different sides ...
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