Shakespeare's "Hamlet" as the Tragic Hero Analytical Essay by soomunie7

Shakespeare's "Hamlet" as the Tragic Hero
A discussion of how "Hamlet" fits the Aristotelian model of tragedy and the tragic hero.
# 52589 | 1,868 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Sep 08, 2004 in Drama and Theater (English) , Literature (English) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)

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This paper focuses on the tragedy of "Hamlet" as it reflects the definition of what a tragedy is. The Aristotelian model of tragedy and the tragic hero are used as a reference to what makes a play a tragedy and what qualifies the character of Hamlet as a tragic hero.

From the Paper:

"For centuries people of all social classes have attended plays to escape reality and to be entertained. In the Elizabethan period one form of play that most fascinated its audience was the tragedy. In a typical Elizabethan tragedy men and women were presented as confronting powers outside themselves, facing them with a dignity which shows the audience the essence of the human spirit against tremendous odds which could result in pain, suffering, downfall, or perhaps even death. Shakespeare wrote many tragic plays such as King Lear, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet (Bedford par.1). Many of these tragedies utilized, as the main character, the Tragic Hero. Many philosophers, writers, and critics alike have speculated the necessary characteristics needed for a character to be considered a "tragic hero." Aristotle, the philosopher, formulated a criteria for a tragedy and a tragic hero long before such plays as King Lear and Hamlet. Yet the character of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, fits perfectly the rules set by the Aristotelian Model of Tragedy and the Tragic Hero. Aristotle believed, among other tings, that "the tragic hero is of a high social and moral stature. This stature provides the "height" from which the hero falls" (Cowlin par. 3). In order for a hero to be considered a "tragic hero," it was necessary for the hero's fall to be the result of a flaw or error in judgment known sometimes as the "tragic flaw." Lastly, the hero must, at some point of the story, come to a moment of recognition wherein they come to an epiphany of the extent of his or her flaw (Cowlin par.5). The character of Shakespeare's Hamlet corresponds with the Aristotelian Model of a Tragic Hero."

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