Essay, Research Paper: Hamlet Hero

Shakespeare: Hamlet

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Hamlet is a tragic hero through abandonment. His father's death makes his mood
very melancholy. He feels that his father left him and he mourns over his death.
His father dies two months ago and he feels that isn't enough time to mourn. To
point this out, " But two months dread, nay, not so much, not two;"
(I,ii,138) The more Hamlet grieves about his father, the more he dislikes
Claudius. To verify this, "She married; O most wicked speed, to past."
(I,ii,156) Hamlet's mother gets remarried, and thus Hamlet feels she has
betrayed his father by marrying Claudius. In this quotation Hamlet's anger is
shown towards his mother getting remarried, " You are the queen, your
husband's brother's wife,/ And -would it were not so! - you are my mother!"
(III,iv,15-16) Hamlet loves his mother very much and wants the best for her, but
he cannot bear her remarriage. Finally, Hamlet feels abandonment by Ophelia's
death. She drowns, but Hamlet is unaware of this. He really loves Ophelia, even
though she was not loyal to him. When he finds out that Ophelia has died, he
cries out, " I lov'd Ophelia: forty thousand brothers could not, with all
their quantity of love, make up my sum."(V,i,270-272) In brief, Hamlet felt
abandoned by his father's death, his mother's remarriage and Ophelia's death.
Hamlet is a tragic hero because of his misfortunes. His first misfortune is the
appearance of the ghost of his murdered father, who appeals to Hamlet to take
revenge for his wrongful death. The ghost reveals to Hamlet that Claudius and
Gertrude had been intimate before his murder. The ghost also reveals that
Claudius became king by treachery, disposing of Hamlet's father in order to
satisfy his own greed. Hamlet becomes very upset and is in grief for his
father's death. He is shocked in disbelief that his own uncle would betray the
family this way. Hamlet's grief can be summed up in the following quotation,
" Make mad the guilty and appal the free,"(II,ii,563) Hamlet's
analytical nature can be seen in his four soliloquies. In his first soliloquy,
he is talking about his joyless life, comparing it to a garden and how it is
decaying. An illustration of this is, " 'tis an unweeded garden/ That grows
in nature."(I,ii,134-135) He doesn't find happiness in anything. He feels
sorrow at his father's death and is disgusted at his mother's remarriage. In
Hamlet's second soliloquy, he is not very proud of himself. He calls himself a
coward for failing to achieve the requested revenge, and shows the anger he has
towards Claudius. To point this out, "A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a
coward." (II,ii,571) Also, to verify his anger, " Remorseless,
treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!" (II,ii,582) He also seems very
frustrated. In his most famous soliloquy, he has thoughts of suicide and asks
the question if life is worth living. He considers the problem of suicide.
Hamlet talks about all the suffering the people go through and he concludes that
this is a part of living. This is apparent by, "To be, or not to be, that
is the question;/ whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer." This
soliloquy has a universal and timeless quality and is written in a melancholy
tone. Finally, Hamlet's misfortune can be seen by his own noble death. The final
catastrophe is when Hamlet at last kills Claudius, while he himself is dying,
and he is spontaneously provoked by his mother's death and by Laertes'
accusation. As evidence of this, " I am dead, Horatio. wretched queen,
adieu!" (V,ii,322) While he was dying, he tells Horatio to live and to tell
the world about his most incredible, miraculous story. In summary, Hamlet is a
tragic hero for his misfortune of seeing his murdered father's ghost, his
analytical nature in his soliloquies and his noble death. Hamlet is a tragic
hero because of his isolation. First of all, Hamlet was betrayed by his family
and his own personal friends. His uncle, who is supposed to take the place of
his father, tricks Hamlet all the way until the end. Hamlet cannot share his
strong feeling and emotions with his mother, while she is literally sleeping
with the enemy. Gertrude has betrayed her husband by marrying Claudius. The only
other woman is Hamlet's life is Ophelia and she has chosen the side of Claudius
because of her father, Polonius. Hamlet's two friends, Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern also betray him by not being loyal, and on top of that they were
spying on him. Everyone turns against Hamlet and thus he felt betrayed by
everyone. This can be summed up in the following quotation, " Now I am
alone./O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!" Hamlet's isolation also
caused his antic disposition. As evidence of this, " As I perchance
hereafter shall think meet/ To put an antic disposition on" (I,v,170-171)
He pretends to be a madman to actually test everyone's loyalty to him. Hamlet,
then studies the behavior of everyone around him, including his own. It also
gives him time to wisely think about obtaining revenge for his father's death.
He wants to achieve a balance between action and inaction. This is apparent by,
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous
fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing, end them. (
III,i,57-60) The third result for Hamlet's isolation was his tragic flaw. He
couldn't bring himself to kill Claudius. He cannot seem to do anything about
this and he takes too much time to think. He always comes up with some excuse to
prevent taking action. After first hearing about his father's murder, he
immediately determines to take action. Then he begins to think that perhaps his
father's ghost was a devil, attempting to trick Hamlet into performing wrong
deeds. Then Hamlet schemes to determine Claudius's guilt, and then he again sets
out to avenge his father's death. Hamlet later catches Claudius in prayer, one
of the rare times he finds Claudius alone. Again, he begins to think how
Claudius will have had his sins forgiven, and that he wants to damn Claudius's
soul. So he resolves to wait and kill him at another time. As evidence of this,
"Now might I do it Pat, now a' is a-praying;/ And now I'll do it and so he
goes to heaven." (III,iii,73-74) In conclusion, Hamlet's reason for being
isolated was because of his betrayal by his family, by his friends and by
Ophelia, plus his antic disposition and tragic flaw which actually is his
internal conflict. Hamlet is a perfect example of a tragic hero through
abandonment, misfortunes and isolation. He feels abandonment through his
father's death, his mother's remarriage and the death of Ophelia. Hamlet's
misfortunes starts with his father's ghost, his analytical nature in his
soliloquies and by his own noble death. Finally, Hamlet's isolation from his
family, his antic disposition which results in his tragic flaw. Although he has
many good qualities, such as bravery (as shown by his deeds), loyalty (to his
father and mother), intelligent (putting on an antic disposition), and
sensitive( he keeps grieving over his father's death), it eventually becomes
clear that it is these very attributes causing his misfortunes, isolation and
abandonment.
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