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Hamlet As A Tragic Hero

             , Aristotle defined the characteristics of a tragic hero. According to Aristotelian dramatic theory, a tragic hero is usually a man of noble standing and good character who possesses a tragic flaw, or hamartia, which eventually contributes to his demise. The tragic hero usually undertakes a task and, in the process of this task, becomes very emotionally and psychologically upset, which results in his alienation from people around him. In my opinion, Hamlet fits the definition of an Aristotelian tragic hero perfectly.
             First of all, a tragic hero is usually a man of noble background. This characteristic gives the hero the vulnerability of "falling" from a high-ranking position. Hamlet most certainly fits this particular description due to the fact that he is of noble birth. He is the Prince of Denmark, and he is next in line to be crowned king after the death of his father.
             Secondly, a tragic hero undergoes a transformation from a state of contentment to one of sadness and melancholy. In Hamlet's circumstances, however, this characteristic is slightly altered. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet is not necessarily happy or content. He has just returned home from the university after learning of the death of his father. He is in an emotional state of mourning. Hamlet begins his transformation to misery, so to speak, when he finds his mother has abruptly married his Uncle Claudius, who has now become the King of Denmark. His transformation is exacerbated nearly to the point of completion in two situations: when the ghost appears to Hamlet and reveals the murderous plot of Claudius to become king, and when Claudius" guilt is revealed and Hamlet's suspicions are confirmed during the performance of The Mousetrap.
             Thirdly, the hero has a tragic flaw, which is usually due to some type of human characteristic such as frailty, susceptibility, emotional distress, or an error in judgment.

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