Hamlet, A Tragedy

The line from Hamlet "O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt." is full of tragic tones. Yet, what makes Hamlet a tragedy? As one big tragedy itself, Shakespeare\'s Hamlet possesses the characteristics that Shakespeare believed a tragedy should contain. The main character, Hamlet, has the defect of indecision, is a very noble character, and is also incapable of handling situations that are caused by other characters. The first tragic quality of Hamlet is Hamlet\'s defect of indecision.

To highlight a characteristic of a tragedy, Hamlet was given a defect. He is indecisive, which prevents him from immediately avenging his father’s death. This characteristic is greatly contrasted against Fortinbra who almost instantly tries to avenge his Father’s death. Though Hamlet could have killed Claudius,
his uncle and the murderer of his father, he does not take advantage of it when he first had the opportunity. This is due to the fact that Hamlet does not know whether or not he should trust someone\'s life on the word of a ghost, a ghost whom Hamlet cannot decide whether is true or unhallowed. While Hamlet is indecisive about trusting the ghost, he has good reason to be. It takes the play "The Murder of Gonzago" to convince Hamlet that the ghost was true and not damning him to hell. This let Hamlet know that he would have to avenge his father’s death by killing Claudius. To look at Hamlet from a different angle, the tragedy of Hamlet is not only the main characters defect, but also his feature of nobility.

Another tragic quality of Hamlet is Hamlet’s nobility. Hamlet is noble because he respects his father, and will not commit suicide. He was his father’s only son and only he could avenge his father’s death. This was the belief at the time, and he new he couldn\'t stray from it. He sacrifices his own life to avenge his father\'s death and honor. Hamlet\'s nobility also shines through when he is unable to commit suicide. Hamlet states the famous line, "to be or not to be”, while he was deciding whether or not to kill himself. Hamlet knows that suicide is against his religion, and even though his life is currently turned upside down, he cannot give into his wants and betray his religion. Hamlet is a nobleman due to birth. He was the prince of Denmark, although in this play Hamlet is illustrated as a nobleman more in result of his actions. Avenging your father’s death and in turn sacrificing your own life are all things that a nobleman would do. Although Hamlet, as the main character, has a defect and is noble, to truly be considered a tragedy according to Shakespeare, the main character must also be unable to deal with the situations that surround him.

As support of Hamlet being a tragedy, Hamlet, the main character, is unable to deal with situations caused by other characters. Hamlet cannot stop mourning his father’s death, which was caused by Claudius. "Thus conscience does making cowards of us all." This shows Hamlets\' uneasiness in dealing with his father\'s situation and taking revenge upon his uncle. Hamlet is also unable to deal with his mother and uncle’s marriage. Within a month after his father’s death, his mother marries Claudius, his uncle. Although Hamlet knows that the marriage is due to his mother’s lack of an opinionated mind, he rightfully blames Claudius for taking advantage of his mother, the Queen. Hamlet views the marriage as incest on the throne. Having to kill his uncle is also a problem. Hamlet being put into this type of overpowering situation is a characteristic of a tragedy. Due to the main character’s defects of indecision, nobility, and the incapability of dealing with problems, Hamlet is considered a tragedy.

Clearly Hamlet is a tragedy due to the many aspects of the main character. Hamlet is not able to make up his mind, he is faithful and noble towards not only his religion but also his father, and is unable to deal with situations. These are only some of the qualities that Shakespeare believed a tragedy must have, for we could not mention them all. Though, you can bet that Hamlet has every one of them!