In what ways is Hamlet heroic in Shakespeare's play Hamlet?
In his criticism of Hamlet, renowned critic Harold Bloom writes,
No other single character in the plays, not even Falstaff or Cleopatra, matches Hamlet's infinite reverberations.
Perhaps it is because of these "reverberations," the tremendous scope of Hamlet's character as he echoes so many human traits, that raises the question of his heroism. For, Elsinore is too small a "mousetrap" for one so grand and charismatic as Hamlet, except for the fact that he returns to it voluntarily. And, thus he is the tragic hero, for like his counterpoint, Fortinbras, Hamlet chooses to avenge his father's honor and sacrifices his life in the heroic effort.
Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,...
And let all sleep, while to my shame I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men...
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot....(4.4.55-64)
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 631 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial