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Hamlet as a Tragic Hero
Transcript of Hamlet as a Tragic Hero
The Greek "Peripeteia" is the moment of the reversal of circumstance Recognition The tragic hero must go through a change from ignorance, to knowledge - achieving an enlightenment. This critical discovery is known as "Anagnorisis". Tragic Flaw The Tragic Hero must have a fatal character flaw, or lapse in judgement, which results in his or her undoing This fatal flaw is known as a "Hamartia". Tragic Irony The peripeteia and anagnorisis experienced in the tragedy results in significant character growth; however, the hero faces his fate and cannot live a life with newfound insights and virtuous ideals brought about by change. Catharsis Catharsis in Hamlet Catharsis is the sudden emotional climax, evoking a great sense of pity, fear, or dramatic emotional change which results in cleansing and revitalization. He is of noble birth: King Hamlet's heir and the direct descendant of the throne, after Claudius. Extremely popular and well loved amoung peers, family, and citizens alike “He's loved of the distracted multitude”(IV, iii, 6) Loyal to his father and determined to set right the state of Denmark Haste me to know ’t, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.
(I, v, 29-31) Peripeteia accompanies Hamlet throughout the course of the play. There is no distinct and dramatic downfall, but a slow degradation of our hero over time Hamlet's reversal of fortune is most remarkable in Act 3, scene 3, when the perfect opportunity to avenge his father arises. However, Hamlet opts not to kill his uncle, setting the course of the rest of the play And am I then revenged
To take him in the purging of his soul
When he is fit and seasoned for his passage? III, ii, 90-91 The moment Hamlet opts not the kill his uncle results in his undoing. From this point on, Hamlet will always be one step behind his uncle and completely at mercy to his cunning. When Hamlet is visited by his late father's ghost, he is commanded to avenge his father and king This sends Hamlet into a tailspin of extreme madness and despair, to which his condition worsens as the play progresses http://www.thefreedictionary.com/tragedy Hamlet's bitter enemy, Fortinbras, rallies a troop of two thousand soldiers on a conquest of Poland. He takes such swift action to reinforce not only the honour of his late father, but his entire nation. Even though this conquest is over land which “…hath no profit butin name”(IV, iv, 17-18), Fortinbras actively fights for his cause, making “…mouths at the invisible event”(IV, iv, 49) which cripples Hamlet’s ambition. After seeing his enemy actively seeking justice and honour, Hamlet makes a dramatic realization, recognizing his faults in his soliloquy in Act 4, scene 4. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honor’s at the stake.
52-55 At this point Hamlet realizes that virtue stands in action, not in the inactivity and contemplation he has been plagued with. With this new insight, and new cause to strive for vengeance, Hamlet vows that from this point on his "...thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!"(IV, iv, 65) Hamlet spends the entirety of the play in deep contemplation, delving deep into his innermost conflict and thought. His scenes are rampant with soliloquies which perpetuate the deep, thoughtful nature of Hamlet. He broods over justice, discusses morality, and explores both life and death through thought. This thoughtful nature is by no means a virtue of Hamlet. He must be driven by the cause of his father's unruly death and seek to avenge King Hamlet. Unfortunately, Hamlet's constant scrutiny and consideration results in his idling and procrastination. While he should constantly strive for action, Hamlet remains mostly inactive, losing every opportunity to fight for his cause. "Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!"
II, ii, 509 While his soliloquies are proof of his inactivity, Hamlet's behaviour in regards to Polonius' murder is strange, and seemingly out of character. This, however, just sheds more insight into Hamlet's faults. Hamlet does nothing to verify the identity of the eavesdropper and just assumes it is his uncle. He rather hastily and pragmatically stabs at the unidentified man, which reveals Hamlet's irrationality and immaturity when it comes to rational decisions. The most important bit of irony is none of that: the irony is in the grand scheme of the entire play. To put is simply: Hamlet progresses significantly as a character throughout the play. Through both his peripeteia and anagnorisis, Hamlet learns how to live a just, beautiful, and virtuous life. He scrutinizes life, realizes his faults, and does what he must to right his wrongs. However, all of that is in vain, as he, and all of his kin, end up dead. Everyone, including Hamlet, dies because of the ultimate will of Hamlet's fate. Work Cited "Hamlet as the Tragic Hero." 123HelpMe.com. 9 Mar 2013
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"Catharsis in Shakespeare's Play Hamlet" StudyMode.com. 01 2013. 01 2013 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Catharsis-In-Shakespeare-s-Play-Hamlet-1341636.html>.
Price, Jessica. "Greek Elements in Hamlet and The Oresteia." Yahoo! Contributor Network. Yahoo!, 18 Aug. 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2013. The great sigh of relief is conjured during the final scene of the play, during the swordfight between both Hamlet and Laertes. In this scene, all characters are put to rest: The malevolent Claudius, Gertrude, Laertes, and Hamlet. This concludes the calamities of Hamlet's life, and especially the unrest in Hamlet's Kingdom. The final closure the audience experiences is when the extremely qualified Fortinbras takes the throne, ending the play with a sense of restoration.