Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Is Hamlet primarily a tragedy of revenge?

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Yes. William Shakespeare's Hamlet is considered a revenge tragedy, where Prince Hamlet's motives are to get revenge on King Claudius for assassinating his father. A tragedy is defined as a branch of drama that presents painful, sorrowful events in a dignified style and manner that are encountered or a result of a heroic individual. The heroic individual who encounters or causes such tragic events to occur is known as a tragic hero. A tragic hero is a protagonist with an esteemed position and bright future, who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his own destruction.

A revenge tragedy includes the same elements of a traditional tragedy, but the plot is driven by a tragic hero seeking revenge on someone for something. In Shakespeare's Hamlet , Prince Hamlet is the tragic hero, who attempts to avenge his father's unlawful death by murdering King Claudius. Unfortunately, Hamlet's tragic flaw or hamartia is his hesitation and inability to act on his emotions of revenge. For the majority of...

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