Hamlet's Tragic Flaw

Hamlet's Tragic Flaw

  • Submitted By: l0vemore
  • Date Submitted: 12/17/2013 2:10 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1312
  • Page: 6
  • Views: 1

In the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, a number of complex situations arise for Hamlet in which he must decide what to do. Hamlet is a naturally introspective character, and in a normal situation, this might not be a problem. However, given the negative and stressful situations he encounters, it forces him to contemplate his options to the point in which he is immobile. It is Hamlet's overly-senstive and thoughtful nature that renders him ill-equipped to act upon the revenge asked of him by his father. Hamlet's intentional miscommunication with the other characters, his fixation on deeper meaning behind words, and his constant procrastination, are key contributing factors to his tragic flaw, and ultimately his tragic ending.

For Hamlet, the power of language and words are the key to both the driving action of the play as well its outcome, as all characters have somehow been affected by tainted words. In fact, each character’s sense of reality has been created and shaped because of constant miscommunication. Unlike many of the other characters in the play, Hamlet understands fully his skill with words and language and he uses this, above all, to achieve his personal ends. For instance, it is not necessarily Hamlet’s actions toward Ophelia that are part of what drives her to suicide, but his words. He, like other men in the play, scolds her like a child, telling her she should enter a nunnery instead of becoming a “breeder of sinners” (III.i.122-123). While he could have simply ignored her or shunned her in a more physical manner, instead he uses the power of words to act as weapons. His exchanges with Ophelia are just one example of his use of language to a desired result.

Another example of Hamlet's cleverness with words is displayed through his relationship with his mother. It is not simply his reactions toward his mother's actions that drives their relationship, but his skillful use of words and language when stating his opinion about her...

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