The Tragic Downfall of Hamlet

Essay by eclipsegstHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2005

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Throughout many of Shakespeare's works he uses tragic heroes. According to Charles and Elaine Hallett, "Tragedy implies acknowledge achieved through suffering."(Hallet) Prince Hamlet of Denmark exemplifies tragedy through his experiences in abandonment and isolation, as well as flaws in his character. As the play progresses the reader discovers what effects abandonment by his mother, isolation from his family and friends, and his own resulting decisions have on the character of Prince Hamlet.

The theme of abandonment is found throughout the play. Hamlet feels alone after his father's murder and even more abandoned by his mother's quick remarriage to his uncle, Claudius. He gets very angry at his mother Gertrude for doing so. "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 feels betrayed by his mother by her not mourning his father's death for an appropriate period of time.

She gets remarried after only two months. "O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason / Would have mourned longer-" (I.ii.150-151).

Hamlet further feels isolated because he was betrayed by his own family and friends. Claudius, his uncle and stepfather, tricks Hamlet throughout the play. Hamlet

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can not even share his feelings with his own mother because she is married to Claudius. There is no one to whom Hamlet can share his tangled emotions regarding the state of his family. The only other woman in Hamlet's life, Ophelia, has chosen to side with Claudius because of her father, Polonius, who has control over her. Two of Hamlet's friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, also betray Hamlet by becoming spies on him and not being loyal friends. Everyone turns against and betrays Hamlet, thus he feels isolated. "Now I am alone. / O, what a rogue...