Hamlet term paper ideas

Hamlet term paper ideas - Morales What kind of tragic hero...

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Morales What kind of tragic hero is Hamlet? ***SHOULD I JUST ANALYZE according to Aristotelian standards or can I discuss Elizabethan standards as well?*** There is no doubt that Hamlet is a revenge tragedy. The protagonist Hamlet loses his beloved father, his mother rashly marries his father’s brother Claudius, all his friends except Horatio betray him, and he ultimately dies after avenging his father. However, can Hamlet be classified as a tragic hero according to Aristotelian standards? At first glance, Hamlet seems to fit the model: He is the eloquent, witty prince of Hamlet who suffers immense grief as the people he loved either die or betray him. Indeed, he lacks some aspects of the model such as a desire for glory or selfish ambition, but the lack of conformity to this classical model makes Hamlet a masterpiece. In fact, he combines Aristotelian and Elizabethan elements of tragedy to create a tragic hero that not only evokes sympathy but also portrays human nature at its core: struggles with morality, religion, and one’s own conscience. In order to fully analyze Hamlet, it is essential to understand the fundamentals and comprehend what makes Hamlet a typical tragic hero according to the Aristotelian model. First, the hero is usually of noble birth. In Shakespeare’s play, proof of Hamlet’s esteemed station lies in the diction of other characters. For example, Hamlet even manages to describe his unhappiness with mankind in the following passage while keeping his usual high level of diction. In the opening of the play Hamlet, Hamlet’s title of “Sweet Prince” grants him a “noble mind.” (Horatio, scene 2), signifying his high-status as the King of Denmark’s son. In addition, when Hamlet dies, he quotes, “Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage”(Fortinbras, 5.2). Thinking in the context of 16 th century Europe, a common person would never receive a funeral as grand as a soldier’s death, thus further proving Hamlet’s high status.
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Morales "What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! how like and angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!" (II.ii.312-316) That Hamlet is more cunning than the average man is no lie (1) Overview of tragic hero (2) Tragic flaw* (3) Mission (4) Journey (5) Not Tragic Discussion of tragic flaws According to Aristotle, "A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall" (qtd. in Perrine).
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course SCHOLARS 1111 taught by Professor Mason during the Spring '11 term at GWU.

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Hamlet term paper ideas - Morales What kind of tragic hero...

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