Hamlet, Tragedy or Not?
One of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays is “Hamlet: Prince of Denmark”. Thisplay is an excellent example of an Elizabethan tragedy. I will prove this statement by confirmingthat this play bears three characteristics of which an Elizabethan tragedy is made of. In the next three paragraphs I hope I can prove to you that this play is indeed an Elizabethan tragedy.
The first quality possessed by the play is that the Hero(Hamlet) is of noble birth. One very apparent proof of this is the title that is entitled “Hamlet: Prince of Denmark”. Others are his father, the late King of Denmark, his uncle, Claudius the new King of Denmark and his mother, the ex-wife of Hamlet SR and Claudius.
The second characteristic is the protagonist is cursed by an ever so influential character flaw. Many people say it was his procrastination, but I think it was his hesitation. Hamlet did have good reasons for hesitating but I think there was a lot of subconscious reasoning behind it. He says himself “thus conscience does make cowards of us all….is sicklied over with the pale cast of thought” so to a large extent his problem was that he thought too much. He delayed not because he was procrastinating but because when you don’t really want to do something you wait until the perfect time to do it.
The third and final Feature and probably the one that really make this play an Elizabethan tragedy is the Hero is defeated. Even though Hamlet succeeds in avenging his father’s death by killing his uncle Claudius. He is defeated in many ways. First his love dies not by murder but suicide and even though it is indirectly it is his fault and he knows it. Second he kills a good friend(Laertes) of his through rage. Third of all his mother, the only family he has left is killed be poison and dies before him. And finally he dies, and knowing he is dyeing his last words are “O, I die, Horatio! The potent poison o’ercrows my spirit” Act V, Scene II, lines 353-354.
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As you can see through my examples and quotes the play Hamlet: Prince of Denmark is an excellent example of one of Shakespeare’s most famous Elizabethan tragedies. We can all relate to this play because almost all of us have experienced a desire for revenge and always hesitated in getting it. Other great readings are Romeo and Juliet and MaccBeth.