Paper Example on Hamlet Hero

Published: 2021-07-01
852 words
4 pages
8 min to read
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Literature review
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Hamlet is a play by William Shakespeare between 1599 and 1602. It tells about a revenge mission by Prince Hamlet of Denmark upon his uncle Claudius for the murder of Hamlets father, King Hamlet. Prince Hamlet is commissioned by the ghost of his father to avenge his death. Claudius has murdered King Hamlet, taken up his throne and possessions as well as marrying his deceased wife. The play has five acts throughout which Hamlet demonstrates his heroism in fulfilling his fathers command.

Hamlet is the hero in this play, and he portrays heroic characteristics throughout the play. Towards the end of Act one, Hamlet shows wisdom in the approach he takes after learning of his fathers murderer. First, he does not confront his uncle Claudius immediately but decides to confirm the truth of the matter by staging a play whose aim was to determine Claudiuss guilt or innocence. Hamlet confides his revelation to only the people he could trust, being Horatio and the sentries. Secondly, he plans to take up a bizarre behavior to draw the attention of the king. Thirdly, he quickly discerns that his two friends, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, have turned into spies. Wisdom is a trait that has made heroes succeed in their missions. Acts of foolishness often lead to people getting killed before they accomplish their goals.

Hamlet depicts an expertise that is only found with heroes. The whole plan of feigning madness is an excellent means to arriving at his end of executing revenge. Through this, Hamlet succeeds in making Polonius think that his behavior is as a result of his love for Ophelia. By this, Hamlet intends to stop the speculations of the people regarding his bizarre behavior. In Act three, Hamlet stages a play in which he features a death of a king in the style that his father was murdered. His intention is to study Claudius reaction, thereby determining his guilt or innocence as well as the truth of his fathers ghost story. His expertise is also seen when he discovers the letter by Claudius authorizing his execution, and he manages to replace it with a forged copy with the names of Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, his former friends who had turned into his spies. This letter saves him and instead led to the death of his spies.

Another heroic trait evident in Hamlet is his undeterred determination to accomplish his mission of avenging his fathers murder. This is seen from Act one when he plots out a plan for the mission by pulling tricks with his feigned madness, to staging a play to determine Claudiuss guilt. After confirming that Claudius is guilty, Hamlet is determined to convince his mother to cut her relationship with Claudius. Although he does it wrong since he throws insults to his mother, his act of asking his mother to stop sleeping with his dead husbands murderer is a show of determination in destroying Claudius. Towards the end of the play, his determination pays off as he kills Claudius, thereby fulfilling his fathers request.

Hamlets other heroic trait is his unwavering courage. Throughout the play, he does not show any sign of cowardice. Although Claudius is the king, he is not afraid to kill him, and this is his mission. The act of staging a play that played out exactly as the events of his fathers murder shows that he was not afraid that the king would uncover his intentions and try to kill him. He was willing to risk that. He has the audacity to joke with the King about Poloniuss death and where he has hidden his body. He did this deliberately to alert the king about his capabilities. In the last scene, Hamlet accepts a challenge even though Horatio tries to stop him. It is in the events of this fight that Hamlet finally manages to kill Claudius, eventually accomplishing his goal.

Hamlet, like other heroes, is can overcome his external and internal obstacles. External obstacles that stood his way included his mother Gertrude, who had married his husbands murderer. After the play in scene two, Gertrude confronts Hamlet demanding an explanation for the play. He reveals to her the truth about Claudius and begs her to stop sleeping with him. Another obstacle is his friends Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, who had turned against him. He is able to discern their betrayal, and he forges a letter that leads to their execution. He is also able to overcome Claudiuss attempts of executing him. The first time is when he escapes execution set to happen in England and the second is when he fails to drink the poisoned wine set for him. Hamlet also overcomes his inner fear associated with the uncertainty of succeeding in an undertaking. He was unrelenting all through until his death which happened at the same time as his victory.

Hamlet is a real hero because he finally fulfills his mission. The play ends with the hero rushing at Claudius and killing him. Fulfilling a mission is the ultimate measure of heroism and for this reason; it is fair to conclude that Hamlet is indeed a hero.

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