The Tragic Flaw of Hamlet
One of the greatest works in literature, Shakespeare's Hamlet has been the topic of controversial discussion ever since it was written. The controversies range from "Is
Hamlet truly mad, to Is Hamlet really in love with Ophelia." The most intriguing topic of discussion though, is Hamlet's fatal flaw. As in all Shakespearean works, there is always
a tragic hero. This hero is always the person that the audience comes to love, however every tragic hero has to have some kind of a tragic flaw that eventually leads to his downfall. Many critics have different ideas of what Hamlet's flaw is, some believe it is his procrastination, others' his deep moral sensibility, or his high idealism, and so on.
These flaws however, do not cause a downfall and a death of a hero. The flaw must be something that goes on inside the character's head, and something that torments him until his final breath. The flaw of Hamlet is that his nature is so excessively concerned about death that he no longer knows right from left. All the deaths of personal relationships and of his father make him think about it, day and night. All Hamlet does, is ponder death and suicide in almost every one of his soliloquies. Everything Hamlet does in this play is centered on something or someone dying that is why his overwhelming interest and curiosity of death will eventually lead him to his own grave.
Hamlet's first intense thought of death probably occurred after his own father's death. When his father died, Hamlet did not know it was murder therefore; Hamlet probably began questioning god and his ways of working. Then, when his mother marries his uncle, Hamlet is so appalled and angry that he considers death aloud in his very first soliloquy. "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fixed His cannon 'gainst self-slaughter!"(I, ii, 129-133) Here, Hamlet is essentially wishing that he were dead, and that he wishes god had not made suicide a sin, for even if Hamlet is not afraid of death, he is afraid of what may lie ahead after death. After this soliloquy, Shakespeare then goes right into the supernatural meeting between Hamlet and the ghost of Hamlet's dead father. What the ghost tells him is what the rest of the play is centered around. The death and unnatural murder of his father must be avenged by Hamlet. The way to seek revenge is to take the life of the one that took his father's life, so in essence killing him. Hamlet must now deal with death in its entirety until he avenges his father's death, and the only way to do that is by causing more death. The whole escapade of his dead father coming back to tell him all this causes Hamlet to think about death like no other. He has now experienced a real ghost coming back from beyond the grave; this heightens Hamlet's curiosity about death, and causes him to contemplate it even more.
The personal relationships that have gone...