The Tragedy of Hamlet.

Essay by sjunejo January 2006

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Arguably the best piece of writing ever done by

William Shakespeare, "Hamlet" the is the classic example of a

tragedy. In all tragedies the hero suffers, and usually

dies at the end. 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.

Not every play in which a Hero dies is considered a

tragedy. There are more elements needed to label a play

one. Probably the most important element is an amount of

free will. In every tragedy, the characters must displays

some. If every action is controlled by a hero's destiny,

then the hero's death can't be avoided, and in a tragedy the

sad part is that it could.

Hamlet's death could have been

avoided many times. Hamlet had many opportunities to kill

Claudius, but did not take advantage of them. He also had

the option of making his claim public, but instead he chose

not too. A tragic hero doesn't need to be good. For

example, MacBeth was evil, yet he was a tragic hero, because

he had free will. He also had only one flaw, and that was

pride. He had many good traits such as bravery, but his

one bad trait made him evil. Also a tragic hero doesn't

have to die. While in all Shakespearean tragedies, the hero

dies, in others he may live but suffer "Moral Destruction".

In "Oedipus Rex", the proud yet morally blind king plucks

out his eyes, and has to spend his remaining days as a

wandering, sightless beggar, guided at every painful

step by his daughter, Antigone. A misconception about...