Hamlet's Tragic Flaws

Essay by ganjakidHigh School, 12th gradeA-, April 2002

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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...