Hamlet: Tragic Hero or Big Baby?

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Hamlet: Tragic Hero or Big Baby? A tragic hero is defined as “an exalted character of high repute who suffers a fall from glory” (Notes from Mr. Cadwallader's drama class). Dictionary.com defines tragic hero as, “a literary character who makes an error of judgment, or has a fatal flaw that combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy.” Both definitions fit the character of Hamlet in Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. Hamlet is a tragic hero because of his indecisiveness to act. Hamlet's tragic flaw is his indecisiveness to act on his thoughts. Hamlet tends to over-think and weigh the consequences of his actions rather than just act on them, this is shown through Hamlet's soliloquys. Hamlet is always questioning himself so he will make the best decision. No matter how admirable this is it slows him down from killing Claudius. Hamlet even says himself, “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all” (III.i.54). Hamlet even knows that he is worrying too much. But yet he continues. Hamlet also questions whether or not the ghost itself is really correct. While speaking the ghost Hamlet asks, “O all you host of heaven! O Earth! What else?/And shall I couple hell?” (I.v.25). Hamlet does not believe the ghost until Act III, when Hamlet tricks Claudius into revealing that he is the cause of his fathers death through the use of his play, “The Murder of Gonzago.” Even though Hamlet knows the truth, he still has trouble acting on his thoughts. It seems that Hamlet does not want to extract revenge and he regrets promising the ghost that he will do so, “O cursed spite,/That ever I was born to set it right! (I.v.28). Hamlet has many opportunities to kill Claudius throughout the course of the play. Hamlet considers killing Claudius while he is confessing his sins. Hamlet then does what he is good at and reconsiders his actions. He quickly realizes that,

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