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Hamlet's Tragic Flaws Essay

1142 words - 5 pages

Shakespeare has written many plays which revolve around the Tragic Hero. This type of character is one of Shakespeare's trade marks, and is a complex psychological riddle. A Tragic Hero is one who brings about his own downfall through a flaw in his character. Many are royalty, or of noble blood, and seem to be quite happy and quite sane. But as the play's plot unfolds, we find that the hero has both external, and internal conflicts to overcome. Usually the hero fails against the conflicts, and ends up dying because of them. One example of this is Macbeth. He was a lord who committed murder, because the witches put the idea in his head. Lady Macbeth edged him on, while he battled his own conscience. In the end, through his own mistrust and suspicion, he was discovered and executed. As well Hamlet faced conflicts, and concluded the play by dying. Hamlet is the standard Tragic Hero. Through his misogynist attitude, his self-pity, and his inability to act upon decisions, he brought his own downfall upon himself.Hamlet is a misogynist. He dislikes women in general, but shows a strong hate towards the women close to him. When Ophelia was told by her father, to stay away from Hamlet, she obeyed. Then when Polonius told her to confront Hamlet, while he and Claudius eavesdropped, she obeyed again. Ophelia tried to return gifts that Hamlet had given her, which had sentimental value. Hamlet acted as if he hadn't given her the gifts. Hamlet was hurt by her betrayal. Ophelia was one of the few people that Hamlet could trust, then she turned against him. Hamlet knew that Ophelia was being used by Polonius and Claudius, and he resented her for it. Hamlet said to Ophelia "Get thee to a nunnery: Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?" (Act 3 scene 1). Hamlet basically tells Ophelia to remain chaste, because women are breeders of evil. Every time a woman has a child, new evil is brought into the world. Hamlet again insults Ophelia, before the play began (Act 3 scene 2). He made rude comments, and he embarrassed her. This abrupt end to their relationship caused both their downfalls, and caused Opelia's true madness.Hamlet also shows hatred towards his mother. Whenever the chance arose, Hamlet would insult her, and bring up the subject of his father's death. Before the play began in Act 3 scene 2, Hamlet mocked Gertrude saying " Look you, how cheerful my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours" . He then makes a spectacle of himself, after being told that his father has been dead for two months. Later, in Gertrude's room, Hamlet' true anger comes out. Hamlet accuses her "As kill a king, and marry his brother?" (Act 3 scene 4). He is so enraged, that Gertrude feels threatened, and calls for help, which leads to Polonius' death. The hate towards his mother, and Ophelia for their deeds, and toward women in general, because they bring evil into the world, led to his downfall. He was running out of people in his life whom he could trust.Because of...

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