What is a Tragic Hero? Frankenstein & Hamlet

Essay by UmbrakiHigh School, 12th gradeA-, January 2014

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Jelani S. Thompson

Mr. Delhagen

AP English

10 December, 13

Frankenstein & Hamlet

A Tragic Hero is a legendary, an archetype that has been used to create characters in some of the greatest literary pieces in history. Among these are Victor Frankenstein in Marry Shelly's Frankenstein and Prince Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Both of these renowned characters not only conform to but also diverge from this classical definition. How do these characters behave according to the archetype? Throughout both of these stories we see how the template of being a tragic hero affects the behavior of both Victor and Hamlet as both their good and "tragic" characteristics sway their behavior and how the resulting consequences create a tragic ending.

Prince Hamlet, second in line for the kingship of Denmark first displays to us in the first Act of the play characteristics of a tragic hero as he justifiably mourns for the death of his father as the other character around him, even his mother, appear to not only to be free of grief but even encourage him to forget his own.

" Good Hamlet cast thy nighted color off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not forever with thy vailèd lids Seek for thy noble father in the dust. Thou know'st tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through to eternity." This projects one of the first characteristics of a tragic hero. We see that he is justifiable in his grief, foreshadowing a possible conflict between himself and the others who appear not to be fazed by the death of the previous king. This simply contrasts to the other characters that he is "good" and that that his future decisions might be backed my morally justifiable means. This is the first example...