Hamlet Tragic Flaw

Subject: 📚 Literature
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 820
Topics: 👑 Hamlet, 📗 Book, 🧔 William Shakespeare
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Everyone can say with certainty that wickedness is a trait that we all share to a greater or lesser extent. It is equally substantial that evil draws its strength from indecisiveness, which can be seen in the vivid example of the behavior of the protagonist Hamlet in the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. Hamlet embodies a character with a constant tendency to reconsider and prolong situations. Fateful solutions can be accepted if a person is talented to think before acting. In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet’s tragic flaw is definitely manifested through his procrastination, along with his failure to take action in crucial situations, which finally results in his downfall.

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Hamlet’s indecision on the case of his suicidal reflections

On the surface, it is apparent that the death of Hamlet’s father and his mother’s second adulterous marriage have caused a devastating effect on Hamlet’s state of mind. The prince certainly displayed visible indications of hesitant behavior to commit suicide. Hamlet further questions himself on the subject of suicide, which is conveyed through the reflections he expresses: “To be or not to be-that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. To die, to sleep-no more…” (Shakespeare, 2012, 3.1. 64-69).

In general, Hamlet voices his desire to die. We can witness how he reflects philosophically and what he considers existence. He frantically wants to be free from the terrible misfortune that has happened in his life. However, Hamlet cannot accept the thought of killing himself. The prince understands that his life is a pile of burdens that fell on him besides the misfortunes that he had in the past. The more he thinks about suicide, the more uncertainty overcomes him in his decision. By the closing moments of his insightful monologue, Hamlet has not made up his mind, so he remains in a sense of hesitation.

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Hamlet’s hesitation about the fateful act of revenge

From the distinct beginning of the story, Hamlet is asked by a ghost, his recently murdered father, to avenge his unjust death. Hamlet at first wants to deal with Claudius, but when he obtains an excellent opportunity, he delays with revenge. The prince is constantly looking for an excuse to be inactive in critical situations, which bears him to indecisiveness. Hamlet finds himself alone with the king, praying and thinking. This is his chance to murder Claudius, but Hamlet harbors an overwhelming feeling why he should not slay him right at this moment. Though he hesitates, he engages in an influential argument: anyone who is executed while praying immediately rises to paradise. Hamlet prefers to hang on for a more suitable moment to kill his mother’s current husband, perhaps while he is performing an act in which there is nothing right.

Hamlet embodies a character with extraordinary intelligence and great initiative; he always takes the decisions. And now, after a long wait, Hamlet did not dare to kill Claudius. As mentioned above, initially Hamlet was confident in the truthfulness of the ghost’s words and said that he confides in his father. Nevertheless, in a short time Hamlet begins to doubt whether the ghost is saying the absolute truth or not. “The spirit that I have seen May be the devil, and the devil hath power T’ assume a pleasing shape… Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (Shakespeare, 2012, 2.2. 627-633). Such obvious hesitation and constant reflection represent Hamlet’s remarkable manifestation of his key trait named procrastination at its best. Hamlet’s solution to bring Claudius to light was to stage a play, coincidentally called “The Mouse-trap”. At the end of the play, the king was enraged and shouted: “Give me some light. Away!” (Shakespeare, 2012, 3.2. 295). Therefore, convincing Hamlet that the ghost was actually believable and that Claudius is the Murderer. It endured Hamlet months to murder Claudius only because of his excessive thinking, constant hesitation and detailed elaboration of the plan. Obviously, at the end of the play, Hamlet’s procrastination and indecision pay off — he is slain by Laertes. In fact, a lot of events could have been avoided if he could have acted without hesitation.


In his classic and unforgettable tragedy “Hamlet”, Shakespeare faithfully portrays Hamlet’s key tragic flaw, which is manifested in his permanent hesitation, as well as his critical failure to act in fateful situations, which eventually results in his own tragic death. Of course, it is Hamlet’s indecision and inability to act according to a well-thought-of plan, increasingly delaying the process of Claudius’ murder, that most of all influence whether he will avenge the death of his beloved father or not. These certainly the most tragic flaws of Hamlet in the end ironically became for him a severe downfall. Moreover, it typically reflected on him in numerous aspects. If Hamlet could perform without brooding, would the play experience such a dramatic outcome?

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