Hamlet, Defined As A Tragedy


Word Count: 1295

The Tragedy of Hamlet

Arguably the best piece of writing ever done by William Shakespeare, Hamlet is the classic example of a tragedy. In all tragedies the tragic hero endures and struggles, and then they usually end happy still offering some hope. Othello stabs himself, Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, Brutis falls on his sword, and like them Hamlet dies by getting cut with a poison tipped sword. But that is not all that is needed to consider a play a tragedy, and sometimes a hero doesn\'t even need to die. Making Not every play in which a Hero dies is considered a tragedy. There are many elements needed to gain the title of a true tragedy. Such elements are discussed in Jean Carmean’s: “Toward a Flexible Definition Of Tragedy.” Probably the most important element is that of the audience being able to identify with the characters in the play. In every tragedy, the characters must be believable, with a complex character and problems the audience can relate to. There must be a sense of missed joy, however the capacity and promise of happiness must be present. The discovery and seeking out of the universal truth must be by both hero as well as the audience, the audience must be a part of the tragedy. This major historical tradition accepts Hamlet as an example of Aristotle\'s model tragic hero, one who is generally better than the average but is brought down by flaw in his character.
IDENTIFIABLE. The first and foremost important element is that of the character having to deal with identifiable universal problems and character traits. “The play must express a view of the world, then, as well as a view of the individual.” (Carmean pg2.) The audience needs to experience a waterfall of emotions for the character and for themselves. Hamlet has many conflicts and qualities that the audience can be familiar with, on such example is revenge, for his fathers murder. Hamlet knows his uncle is guilty of murder, but he does nothing concrete to the effect to further his revenge. First he condemns his apparent lack of concentration of his revenge as the sign of his cowardly nature. He puzzles the court with his madness and then rationalizes his inactivity as an effect of his doubt about the ghost’s nature. He plans to manipulate a play to get a rise out of Claudius, the audience supports Hamletsmove.
VIEW OF WORLD. Another element of a tragic hero is how he or she reacts to his of her view of the world. With the death of his father and the hasty, incestuous remarriage of his mother to his uncle, however, Hamlet is thrown into a suicidal frame of mind in which "the uses of this world" seem to him "weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable." Though his faith in the value of life has been destroyed by this double confrontation with death and human infidelity, he feels impotent to effect any change in this new reality: "It is not, nor it cannot come to good. / But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue." All he can do in this frustrated state is to lash out with bitter satire at the evils he sees and then relapse into suicidal melancholy.
GREATNESS.A tragic identification is best aroused by a character who is great; such greatness of intelligence, sensitivity and or along with the capacity to love. The hero must be essentially great, in that his weaknesses do not lead to the internal conflict such as madness. Ophelia tells us that before the events of the play Hamlet was a model courtier, soldier and scholar, "The glass of fashion and the mould of form, / Th\' observed of all observers." Hamlet had only one flaw, and that was pride. He had many good traits such as bravery, but his one bad trait made him evil. While in all Shakespearean tragedies, the hero dies, in others he may live but suffer "Moral Destruction. A misconception about tragedies is that nothing good comes out of them, but it is actually the opposite. In Hamlet, although Hamlet dies, it looks as though things would be better, and Denmark is saved. Hamlet could not have had any pleasure during the rest of