This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Perception Of A Tragic Hero: "Hamlet"

1692 words - 7 pages

Perceptions and understanding of Shakespearean language evolve as time passes. It is reasonable to believe that Laertes is more of a tragic hero than Hamlet. In order for this to be seen effectively, a comparison must be made between Laertes and Hamlet. In the play Hamlet, Laertes is a character who grabs the audience's attention. His devotion to succeed, despite disadvantages is both motivational and tragic situations, is inspirational to some extent. His portrayal as the antagonist is very effective in conveying the message that, the easy way may not always be the right path to pursue. In the end, people are accountable for their own actions. To Laertes, the urge to avenge a loved ones ...view middle of the document...

In Hamlets case, the time of mourning must have past since he is the only one that continues this. Gertrude, his mother questions this behaviour. She does so by saying, "cast thy nighted colour off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not for ever with thy veiled lids Seek for thy noble father in the dust: Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity," (I, II, 68-73). On the other hand, Laertes, despite loosing his father by the hands of his friend Hamlet, still shows optimism. He had every reason to mourn, and would have the added feeling of betrayal, but even so, he is not as distraught as Hamlet. This goes to show that his optimism in justice will be served makes him a greater tragic hero than Hamlet.However, another characteristic possessed by Laertes is that he is noble. He wins the admiration of the audience because of his bravery and non-hesitant behaviour. Not only does the audience admire this man, so do the characters of this play. We see that men follow Laertes to offer assistance where needed, "save yourself, my lord: The ocean, overpeering of his list, Eats not the flats with more impetuous haste Than young Laertes, in a riotous head," (IV, V, 96-99). The devotion he has towards his cause can be shown with his self-sacrificial statement, "and like the kind life-rendering pelican, Repast them with my blood," (IV, V, 143-144).Perhaps, the flaw that leads to Laertes' detriment is that he is easily manipulated. Claudius, who is Hamlet's uncle, uses Laertes for his own revenge on Hamlet. This begs the question if the first two blows encountered within the fencing match were intentional. Because of the death of his beloved sister, and the fact that his father was murdered, Laertes may have felt he no longer had anything to live for. His friend Hamlet can be linked to both deaths. Only towards the end is Hamlet able to rationalize his actions by saying, "this presence knows, And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd with sore distraction. What I have done, that might your nature, honour and exception roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness." (V, II, 217-223). Another factor which would lead the audience to believe Laertes intentionally let Hamlet hit him, was that Hamlet was not confident in his own fencing skills. In this statement, Hamlet is quoted saying "I will win for him an I can; if not, I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits," (V, II, 171-173). This gives circumstantial evidence that Laertes was better at the sport, and therefore let Hamlet hit him the first two times on purpose. This would go with the plan set by Claudius; the first hit, he would drink to Hamlets health and then put a poisonous gem in the wine. The second hit, Hamlet would drink the poison. Because of this manipulation, and not seizing the appropriate opportunity, Laertes was killed by Hamlet.The flaws shown in Hamlet are that he is procrastinates and that he is indirect. Hamlet shows...

Other Essays On Perception Of A Tragic Hero: "Hamlet"

Hamlet: A Tool Of A Higher Power

787 words - 4 pages Hamlet: A Tool of a Higher PowerThroughout Shakespeare's Hamlet, it seems that a higher spiritual power is influencing the events taking place in the state of Denmark. A ghost of the recently deceased King Hamlet appears to Young Hamlet telling him of his 'most foul and most unnatural murder' (1.5.30). This begins a chain of events leading up to the martyrdom of Hamlet, and the spiritual cleansing of the throne of Denmark.Firstly, Hamlet sees

A Matter Of Perception: Treasure Island Is Good Or Bad

1095 words - 5 pages Criticism, Vol. 5, pp.394). None of the critics today cantell you if Treasure Island is a good book or not. It is a matter of perception to see it as agood or bad book. Like the saying is, "You can't argue taste."Works CitedBarterian, Gerald R., Evans, Denis Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism Vol. 63.Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1984. This source has a brief ananysis ofTreasure Island's literary excellence.Harris, Laurie Lanzen, Fitzgerald

Death Of A Salesman Vs. Hamlet

736 words - 3 pages Willy Loman and Hamlet, two characters so alike, though different. Both areperfect examples of tragedy in literature, though for separate reasons and by distinctmethods. The definition of a tragedy, in a nutshell, states that for a character to beconsidered tragic, he/she must be of high moral estate, fall to a level of catastrophe,induce sympathy and horror in the audience, and usually die, and in doing so, re-establishorder in the society

Hamlet On The Great Chain Of Being Being Disturbed And Leading To A Bad Ending

842 words - 4 pages "The time is out of joint; O cursed spite, That ever was I born to set it right!"# This quote is from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, spoken by Hamlet. He knows that the Great Chain of Being is disturbed and he is the one that has to set it back to normal. The Great Chain of Being is a scale where everything is put in its place, from Heaven to Hell. Disturbing the Great Chain of Being will result in a bad ending. In Hamlet, Shakespeare

Oskar Schindler, In The Eyes Of Many, Is A True Hero. This Is A Man Who Wanted To Make A Difference And Do Things That He Thought Was Humane And Rightful

875 words - 4 pages Activity 6: Courage in the Face of InjusticeOskar Schindler, in the eyes of many, is a true hero. This is a man who wanted to make a difference and do things that he thought was humane and rightful. Although Schindler was part of the Nazi Party during the tragic time of World War Two, Schindler saved approximately 1,200 Jewish lives. Oskar Schindler, a single man, saved the most Jews during World War Two and is a hero to the Jewish community. He

Julius Caesar-Tragic Hero

645 words - 3 pages JULIUS CAESAR A series of events set into motion by human error which causes the downfall/death of a high placed individual in society. This definition of tragedy makes me believe that Brutus is the tragic hero. The definition clearly resembles what Brutus did. He made human errors, which led to the death of Julius Caesar. The seven attributes to be a tragic hero are as follows; (1) Must be high placed in society, (2) His/her actions

Hamlet: Truly Mad Or Acting Mad. An Essay About Role Playing In Shakespeare's "Hamlet"

563 words - 3 pages Hamlet: Truly mad or acting mad" Hamlet at once invites and resists interrogation. He is, more than any theatrical character before and perhaps since, a figure constructed around an unseen or secret core. "In this introduction to the play Stephan Greenblatt directly emphasises not only the depth but also the mystery about the main character of Hamlet. He points at the different impressions Hamlet makes on his co-characters and the spectator can

The Ghost of King Hamlet

284 words - 2 pages The ghost of King Hamlet appears in the first scene of Shakespeare's Hamlet and continues to be a presence and driving force in the entirety of the play, even when he is only seen by his son. The Ghost materializes in the night, showing himself first to the watchmen at Elsinore (1.1) and later to his son Hamlet (1.4). King Hamlet is seen armed "cap-a-pé," in a suit of armor similar to that which he might have worn "When he the ambitious

Analysis Of Hamlet's Second Soliloquy And Its Comparison With The Final Soliloquy

2026 words - 9 pages developed a strong perception of the speaker's personality. In Hamlet-Prince of Denmark, through the soliloquies, the observers get a picture of the mental composition of the characters. Most of them show the mental evolution through which Hamlet passes as well as the different moods of the play.Hamlet's second soliloquy, which is considered to be one of the most interesting ones, introduces the main conflict of the play - Hamlet's inside battle

Hamlet. 'To Be Insane Or Not To Be Insane That Tis The Question'

1206 words - 5 pages 'To Be Insane or Not To Be Insane That Tis The Question'With in Hamlet, Shakespeare gives a psychological dimension to the thouoghts andactions of each of his characaters, exspecially hamlet. Shakespeare gives the reader anindepth look into the mind of Hamlet. If shakespeare had not given the reader the complexpsychological state of Hamlet, then yes one could say Hamlet was insane, but Shakespearedid. He made sure that there was an explanation

Hamlet does not love Ophelia because all through the play

478 words - 2 pages Hamlet does not love Ophelia because all through the play he is playing with her mind witch leads to her insanity. Weather it is using her, telling her she is a "whore" or telling her straight up that he does not love her. Also he does not feel bad or try to comfort her when she finds out he killed her dad and she is upset. All of this makes her go crazy and leads to her suicide. The first reason Hamlet does not love her is because in the

Similar Papers

A Tragic Hero Essay

849 words - 4 pages Silva 1Albert SilvaEnglish 101Joseph Pendleton09/19/2014Such a Tragic HeroAristotle's definintion of a tragic hero truely describes Oedipus. The tragic hero must be of noble stature and have greatness. Though the tragic hero is pre-eminently great, he is not perfect. The hero's downfall is partially his own fault, the result of free choice, not of accidental means. The hero's misfortune is not wholly deserved and the punishment exceeds the crime

Mac Beth As A Tragic Hero Essay

863 words - 4 pages Is Macbeth the tragic hero of the play 'Macbeth?' This question may seem to be redundant; however, not all of Shakespeare's Tragedies are named after their tragic heroes. For example, Julius Caesar is not the tragic hero of 'Julius Caesar.' A tragic hero must conform to a set of characteristics which evolved all the way from ancient to medieval times. Macbeth conforms to these characteristics and is the tragic hero of 'Macbeth.'The death of an

The Five Stages Of A Tragic Hero And Oedipus' Going Through Them

619 words - 3 pages The True Tragic HeroIn Sophocles' play Oedipus Rex, every reader is riding a roller coaster of his life. Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero is one person who goes through five stages which in Sophocles' play the main character Oedipus does. The five stages that he goes through are pre-eminence, flaw, fall, gaining of insight, and rise.Pre-eminent is one who surpasses all the others or should be looked up to. Oedipus at the beginning of the

Macbeth A Tragic Hero Essay

597 words - 3 pages In Macbeth, the imagery of animals behavior and class status advances the theme ofanimals in relation to human characteristics. The examples discussed in my paper willmake it quite clear that this imagery is evident, throughout the play. In Act 1 sc. 3 line 8, the first witch chants and says that the sailor is the master ofthe Tiger. The witch is comparing the man to a Tiger. The tiger is a very good animal andis near the top of the