The real hero in the tragedy of ‘Hamlet’ is NOT Hamlet but Laertes. Discuss.

Instructions: The real hero in the tragedy of ‘Hamlet’ is NOT Hamlet but Laertes. Discuss. Many critics believe that Hamlet, from William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, is the epitome of a tragic hero.

The real hero in the tragedy of ‘Hamlet’ is NOT Hamlet but Laertes. Discuss.
The real hero in the tragedy of ‘Hamlet’ is NOT Hamlet but Laertes. Discuss.

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Many critics believe that Hamlet, from William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, is the epitome of a tragic hero. However, one could argue that Hamlet is no more than an ordinary man who becomes corrupted and evil throughout the play, retaining only a few of his original heroic characteristics.

A tragic hero can be defined as “a privileged, exalted character of high repute, who, by virtue of a tragic flaw and fate, suffers a fall from glory into suffering” (DiYanni).

Tragic heroes have qualities that rank them above the average person, but these special characteristics are not enough to save the hero from fate:

Hamlet has several flaws, like a tragic hero, but he is not characterized as excellent by any means. At times, Hamlet even possessed qualities of a villain. He reacts to his fate in a way similar to the way one would expect a normal, non-heroic character to react.

In addition, Hamlet’s fate is not inevitable, but is rather a culmination of his many mistakes and blunders

that result from his constantly increasing corruption.

Although Hamlet has the potential to be a tragic hero, his fellow characters in the play corrupt him and cause him to become evil, therefore rendering him unfit for the title of “tragic hero”.

In the beginning of the play, Hamlet is characterized as a normal, young adult who is mourning the death of his father. He has several friends, including

Horatio, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern, in addition to his girlfriend, Ophelia.

As the son of the late king, Hamlet is a prince and next in line for the throne. This literal nobleness and fortune

seems to qualify him as a perfect candidate for a tragic hero.

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