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Does young Hamlet as a failed hero have more to tell us than a successful hero...

mafrancis's profile pic

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Does young Hamlet as a failed hero have more to tell us than a successful hero would?

Any help with exploring the problem of failure in language and action in Hamlet, specifically with finding relevant quotations.

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cmcqueeney's profile pic

Posted (Answer #1)

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The flawed Hamlet does tell us more as readers than a successful hero would.  Melodramas and other works where the hero is always successful or the plot wraps up neatly in the end usually don't reflect reality.  Hamlet's indecision, internal struggles, and family conflicts create universal appeal giving readers a character to relate to and learn from.  Through Hamlet readers can 'learn from someone else's mistakes' so to speak.  I think Hamlet's soliloquies would be the best places to look for quotes that would point towards Hamlet's failures.  In each, he explores issues such as suicide, death, family, etc. and the reader can see his internal struggles and indecision.


amy-lepore's profile pic

Posted (Answer #2)

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We rarely learn from doing things correctly all the time.  Our learning process comes from making mistakes, reflecting on what went wrong, and revising our actions for the next time.

He has already learned from the mistake his father made in trusting Claudius, so therefore he does not go all the way to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

He has several failures in the play.  Due to his rash behavior and failure to get help for his issues, he loses Ophelia, he loses his friendship with Laertes, his mother dies, and so does he.  The only true success he has in the play is saving his friend who also wants to die when it is obvious Hamlet will

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