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The Tragedy of Hamlet
        Arguably the best piece of writing ever done by 
William Shakespeare, Hamlet the is the classic example of a 
 tragedy.  In all tragedies the hero suffers, and usually 
dies at the end. Othello stabs himself, Romeo and Juliet
commit suicide, Brutis falls on his sword, and like them 
Hamlet dies by getting cut with a poison tipped sword.  But 
that is not all that is needed to consider a play a tragedy, 
and sometimes a hero doesn't even need to die.  Making 

        Not every play in which a Hero dies is considered a 
tragedy.  There are more elements needed to label a play 
one.  Probably the most important element is an amount of 
free will.  In every tragedy, the characters must displays 
some.  If every action is controlled by a hero's destiny, 
then the hero's death can't be avoided, and in a tragedy the 
sad part is that it could.  Hamlet's death could  have been 
avoided many times.  Hamlet had many opportunities to kill 
Claudius, but did not take advantage of them.  He also had 
the option of making his claim public, but instead he chose 
not too.  A tragic hero doesn't need to be good.  For 
example, MacBeth was evil, yet he was a tragic hero, because 
he had free will.  He also had only one flaw, and that was 
pride.  He had many good traits such as bravery,  but his 
one bad trait made him evil.  Also a tragic hero doesn't 
have to die.  While in all Shakespearean tragedies, the hero 
dies, in others he may live but suffer "Moral Destruction". 
     In Oedipus Rex, the proud yet morally blind king plucks 
out his eyes, and has  to spend his remaining days as a 
wandering, sightless beggar, guided at every painful
step by his daughter, Antigone.  A misconception about 
tragedies is that nothing good comes out of them, but it is 
actually the opposite.  In Romeo and Juliet, although both 
die, they end the feud between the Capulets and the
Montegues.  Also, Romeo and Juliet can be together in 
heaven.  In Hamlet, although Hamlet dies, it is almost for 
the best.  How could he have any pleasure during the rest of 
his life, with his parents and Ophelia dead.  Also, although
Hamlet dies, he is able to kill Claudius and get rid of the 
evil ruling the throne.

        Every tragic play must have a tragic hero.  The 
tragic hero must possess many good traits, as well as one 
flaw, which eventually leads to his downfall.  A tragic hero 
must be brave and noble.  In Othello, Othello had one fatal 
flaw, he was too great.   Othello was too brave, too noble, 
and especially too proud to allow himself to be led back to 
Venice in chains.  A tragic hero must not back down from his 
position.  He also has to have free will, in order to stand 
up for what he believes in.  Finally, the audience must have 
some sympathy for the tragic hero.  In MacBeth, although 
MacBeth commits many murders, one almost feels sorry for him 
and his fate.  

        Hamlet is the perfect example of the tragic hero.  
Hamlet has all the good traits needed to be a tragic hero.  
He is brave and daring.  One example of this is that when he 
went to England, he was taking a big risk.  If his plan
didn't work, he would have been executed  He also is also 
loyal.  His loyalty to his father, was the reason he was so 
angry at Claudius and his Mother.  Another trait was that he 
was intelligent.  He was able to think up the idea of faking
insanity, in order to get more information about Claudius.  
But Hamlet like all other tragic hero's had a flaw.  He 
couldn't get around to doing anything, because he couldn't 
move on.  He was a full grown adult, yet he still attended
school in England, because he couldn't move on.  Also, it 
took him a long time to stop grieving about his father, 
because he didn't want to move past that part of his life.  
And after he finally did, Hamlet couldn't get around to 
killing Claudius.  He kept pretending he was insane even 
after he was sure that Claudius killed his father.  The 
final example of Hamlet's inability to get around to do 
anything was that he was dating Ophelia for a long time, but
never got around to marrying her.  The audience was able to 
feel sympathy for Hamlet too.  He had just lost his father, 
and his mother remarried so quickly that according to him 
they could have used the leftover food from the funeral in
the wedding reception.  Also, the audience could feel that 
Hamlet loved his parents and this sudden change was hurting 

        In any tragedy there is a tragic hero, and he must 
possess certain characteristics in order to be one.  He must 
have many good traits such as loyalty and bravery, but one 
bad one such as pride.  Also the audience must have sympathy 
for the hero.  A tragic hero also must have free will or his 
fate would be decided for him, and his death could be 
avoided.  Finally, the audience must have sympathy for the 
tragic hero, or it wouldn't seem so tragic. Hamlet is a 
perfect example of a tragic hero.  He was brave, loyal, and
intelligent, but he couldn't move on past one thing, which 
led to his death.  He had a choice of how he would deal with 
Claudius, and like other tragic hero's made a decision.  
Also, the audience was able to feel sympathy for the 
position Hamlet was in.  These attributes made Hamlet the 
perfect example of a tragic hero.

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