Hamlet as a tragicomedy.I just need to know the introduction, and the tragicomedy element in Hamlet.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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I noticed that this question or request has gone unaddressed for one week now, and I would suggest that the reason for that is because Hamlet isn't a tragicomedy.  There is really nothing very funny in this play or about what is happening to any of the major or minor characters.  A king has been murdered and supplanted by his brother; a ghost has come to Hamlet to tell him of the murder to to demand revenge; Hamlet spends a good portion of the story coming up with a plan to prove that the ghost's story is true.  Hamlet feels betrayed by his uncle.  Hamlet feels betrayed by his mother for her overly quick remarriage to Claudius -- a marriage that would have been considered incestuous.  Hamlet's girlfriend, Ophelia, breaks up with him because her father told her to.  Hamlet's supposed friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, have to come to Elisinore at the command of the King, not to help Hamlet, but ultimately, to spy on him for the King.  Hamlet spends a good part of the play thinking about his actions, but not doing very much to accomplish his goals, and when he does act, he accidental kills Polonius.  This act puts him in more immediate danger from Claudius who sends him to England in order to have him killed.  When he arranges his return to Denmark, it is to discover that Ophelia has committed suicide and that Laertes wants vengence for his father's death.  There is NOTHING funny in any of this.  It isn't even a comedy of errors -- Hamlet is the pure definition of tragedy.  The final result -- eight characters dead by the end of the play -- is no laughing matter.  It seems wrong to even laugh at how awful it is.  The few very slight comedic moments (Hamlet's toying with Polonius while pretending to be mad; Hamlet's taunting the King after Polonius's death; Hamlet's bawdy talk with Ophelia before the play) are not enough to bring this play to being an example of tragicomedy.  Hope this helps!

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