Essay Sample on Hamlet: Shakespeare's Timeless Tragedy of Revenge

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1953 Words
Date:  2023-03-12


Hamlet is a play written by William Shakespeare between the years 1599-1602. The tragedy of Hamlet is one of the tragedies that are famous and most studied. It is set in Denmark, and the story revolves the life of Prince Hamlet who is determined to revenge on his uncle Claudius for killing his father. This play was influential even during Shakespeare's time and was performed countless times. The play is appealing up to date, even among those who do not know other works by Shakespeare. Claudius killed his brother, intending, to seize the throne. He married his sister and his mother, Gertrude. Shakespeare presents Hamlet's tragic flaw as his quest for revenge and his inability to make decisions quickly, which is attributed to his inability to act.

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Among the flaws that led to the fall of Hamlet include the flaw of indecision, where he took a lot of time to make decisions that needed to be made regarding his life. Whenever he used to face challenges that required the quick action that required an instant decision, he was unable to make a quick decision which affected him. The result is that negative results used to happen because of his lack of quick decision making (Shakespeare). This flaw is shown when he was conflicted with the situation after the death of his father, and he has to make the decision of murdering his uncle because he does not like him. The challenge of making the decision leaves him with fantasies and is unable to know the decision to make.

Hamlet is obsessed with revenging the death of his father, as well as the marriage of his mother and his sister to his uncle Claudius. He is filled with grief and anxiety, and he is determined to see his father's ghost (Shakespeare). His friend and sentries have disclosed to him that they have seen a ghost of his father, but he desires to see this ghost rather than be told about it with other people. He believes seeing this ghost will act as a confirmation for going ahead with the revenge. Hamlet vows that whether he sees the ghost or not, he has to avenge the death of his father. Hamlet's quest for revenge leads to his death. His pursuit of revenge also leads to the accidental death of his mother. However, he dies after managing to kill King Claudius, so he succeeds avenging for the death of his father.

Hamlet is excessively concerned about death, and this is among his tragedies. This flaw greatly affects his life by dragging him into a life of madness and chaos. All he thinks about is the death of his father and how he will revenge by killing his uncle, who killed his father. He is obsessed with revenge, and when he is told about his father's ghost, he vows that he must revenge "To my revenge: but in my terms of honor. I stand aloof and will no reconcilement" (Shakespeare). He is obsessed with death, and this personality negatively affects him and many others around him. His mother and Denmark's King dies as a result of his behavior and personality. Although he intends to avenge his father's death, other people's lives are lost in the process. This personality also affects him as he dies while in his revenge mission.

The death flaw was not evident at the beginning of the play, but the ghost presents it. The ghost of Hamlet's father revealed to him that he was killed by Claudius and asked him to avenge for the murder. Since then, Hamlet was obsessed with death and was willing to go to any extent to revenge against his uncle Claudius (Shakespeare). Hamlet's problems are linked to this ghost, which affects his life. He spends a lot of time desiring to know more about what happened. The madness personality outshines his real personality, and he acts so that his real intentions cannot be known.

Hamlet always thinks about death and does not care about anything else. He has a friend who knows what happened to his father and who he can trust with his plans. He is Hamlet's adviser bit he fails to warn him of the consequences of his personality (Shakespeare). Hamlet did not see any danger in his plans and actions, which subsequently caused a tragedy. Hamlet is obsessed with death. He forgets about the obligations he has. He solely focuses on avenging the death of his father and does not carry out his normal activities. This affects his quality of life and leads to other problems that could have been avoided if he was not solely into death.

Due to the death flaw Hamlet neglects his relationship with Ophelia and subsequently hurts her in different ways. Hamlet not only neglects her but also insults her. "I loved you not." Ophelia is also hurt by his father's death, which is caused by Hamlet. Polonius is Ophelia's father, and when he is killed, she becomes mad and subsequently commits suicide. The death flaw also makes Hamlet loose respect both for the King as well as the feelings for his mother. "He that hath kill'd my king and whored my mother" (Shakespeare). All the deaths in the play occur due to Hamlet's obsession with death.

The other flaw that suppresses Hamlet includes feelings that make him unable to make decisions. The feelings leave him with conflicting decisions, whether the act or not to act when a decision required to be made (Shakespeare). The feelings make him vulnerable to being made to use feelings in decision making. This is shown when his mother influences him to think that he is in love which is not the truth. The feelings make him not think rationally; hence, the decisions will be based on the feeling of the moment. People knowing that he makes a decision based on feelings leave him vulnerable to external influence.

There is also the flaw of not learning from previous mistakes where one makes a better decision because one learns of the prior mistake (Shakespeare). Failure to learn makes one live with the consequences even when they had the opportunity to re-organize their lives. Hamlet had a character of being loyal to friends; hence, he kept making the wrong decisions in order to make friends happy. The weakness leaves him vulnerable when his mother influences him.

The other tragic flaw of Hamlet is the inherent personality trait, and the personality causes his downfall. The character of embracing other people character is a weakness because not all opinions of people mean well (Shakespeare). During the confrontation between Hamlet and his mother, he is persuaded by the mother to stab Polonius. He realizes that he made a mistake after he had already done the mistake. The best advice is the one where one gets to think of the consequences before executing a piece of advice from colleagues. Some friends mean well, while others do not mean well for Hamlet; they want him to land into problems.

The surroundings and environment that Hamlet find himself in are caused by the mistakes that he makes. The decisions even make him neglect his responsibilities, including the responsibility of taking care of his wife Ophelia an action that leads to divorce (Shakespeare). The decision to neglect his wife had negative consequences to Hamlet because he is left with no one to support him during challenging situations. The flaw of being unloving is the one that causes the differences between Hamlet and his wife in addition to the inability to provide. He tells his wife that he did not love him hence Ophelia choice to divorce him.

Hamlet also had a flaw of being abusive to people that he could not agree with. Being abuse creates hatred and disagreements among the people rather than bringing the people together. The abusive language is among the factors that bring the downfall of Hamlet (Shakespeare). The abusive language is shown when he insults his mother when the mother tries to know why he killed his father in law. The scenes of insults and the killing upset the king, who starts thinking about how to eliminate Hamlet. The behavior was a challenge to hamlet because he was unable to live with the people peacefully.

There is also the flaw of unrealistic idealism. Unrealistic idealism facilitates morality and spirituality. The unrealistic idealism makes him think of unrealistic things that then influence him to make wrong decisions that have a negative effect on his life and the people around him. The bad ideas create a bad character in him. His abilities could make him a hero, but he never utilized his abilities (Shakespeare). For one to be successful ones needs to have good relations with the people and the community at large to get support in his actions and plans. The mistakes made by Hamlet repeatedly are a clear indication that he had serious flaws that ensured he was not able to complete any task successfully. Hamlet represents the challenges that people face while trying to achieve their dreams by making wrong decisions. The wrong decisions made it impossible to achieve any goal.

Hamlet had the weakness of lacking support from the religious leaders. Hamlet shows the weakness because of religious backing when he plans to revenge against the people who seem not to support his actions (Shakespeare). Religion shapes the character of the people. Therefore if Hamlet had a strong relationship with the religion, he could not have faced the challenges that finally contributed to his fall. Religion could have shaped his behavior and character in a manner that he could be able to live in peace with friends and neighbors. Religion helps in molding the bad character to a character that is acceptable by the community.

Hamlet can be considered to be a tragedy that leads to disaster because all the activities that hamlet engages in have controversies that come up. Hamlet is unable to achieve anything successfully without conflicting with other people or making a wrong decision that does not lead to the achievement of the earlier objective (Shakespeare). The inability to have a character and personality that could enable have a good relationship with other people was a strong weakness that contributed to the failure that Hamlet had. One needs to rely on other people to get necessary support when the need arises. The weaknesses in character also create an opportunity for external influence where people misled him into making wrong decisions.

The reputation of a person is also important because people associate with Hamlet based on how he has created a reputation of himself among the people. The reputation creates a perception that influences how people make decisions (Shakespeare). The perceptions that the people had against Hamlet is that he was not a reliable person. Therefore, they never wanted to be associated with him and the decisions he made. Even close families members had a negative perception towards Hamlet; hence, the mother wanted to influence all the actions of Hamlet because she believed that she could make a better decision than her son.


In conclusion, Hamlet is a play that was popular during Shakespeare's time, as well as now. The play revolves around the quest of Hamlet to avenge his father's death, who was killed by his uncle Claudius. Hamlet's tragic flaws, such as the quest for revenge, lack of heist in making decisions, and acting, his obsession with death brought about his downfall. All the deaths in the play were caused by his commitment to avenge his father's death. He killed the King of Denmark and caused the deaths of his mother, Ophelia, and Polonius.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Simon and Schuster, 2003.

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