Who is to be blamed for the tragic flaw in "Hamlet"? I need an explanation, too.

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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You first need to identify the tragic flaw.  Most would say that Hamlet's flaw was that he waited so long to carry out his ghost-father's request: to kill Claudius.  Hamlet is asked in Act 1, sc. 5, by the ghost to carry out revenge against Claudius because Claudius killed King Hamlet.  Hamlet doesn't do this until the end of Act 5, which is several months later (probably about 6 or more months).  While he hesitates in carrying out this revenge, several people die: Polonius, Ophelia, Laertes, and Gertrude.  If Hamlet would have killed Claudius shortly after talking to the ghost and without involving others, none of those other characters would have had to die.  Of course, the hesitation led to Hamlet's own death as well.  Who is to blame for this tragic flaw?  Hamlet is probably to blame since he is the one who hesitates.  His hesitation though is based on his doubts, in large part.  He decides to have the traveling players perform a play he's written that depicts the killing as described to him by the ghost.  He figures if Claudius reacts, then the ghost was telling the truth.  Later, he has a chance to kill Claudius when Claudius is in the chapel praying, but he doesn't because he doesn't want Claudius to be absolved of his sins as he dies because King Hamlet, killed in his sleep, never got that chance.  Then Hamlet is sent to England and is gone for a short time.  All of these reasons for being slow have a justification to them, so blame is hard to assign.

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