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The Tragedy of Hamlet

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The tragedy of Hamlet is an enigma. At one time Hamlet should kill the king but the play portrays him as a failure since he is unable to kill him. Some people argue that Hamlet fails to revenge because his inner feelings do not permit him. He seems to be weak-willed. It could also be that the task placed on his shoulders was too heavy for him. Other critics argue that Shakespeare wanted to show tragedy of a person who is weak-willed and at the same time poorly equipped. Other critics argue that Hamlet fails to kill the king because of the obstacles he comes across as he tries to accomplish his goal. Opposition from the king and his people proves that it was difficult to kill the king at once. These critics believe that Hamlet’s aim was not to kill the king, but to chastise him and expose him for his guilt.


Two things happen at the end of the tragedy. Hamlet kills the king alongside with four other victims. The audience gets surprised since they did not expect that to happen. Reasons of the killing are so obvious such that the audience has forgotten the initial reason for revenge. People do not hear about the death of Hamlet’s father in the end of the play. The king gets killed as a result of different reasons from vengeance. The tragedy, therefore, reaches its catastrophe. The king’s death, however, gets overshadowed by several immediate causes and several other deaths. These killings are different from other killings that had occurred previously in the tragedy. Most of the previous deaths happened but did not get noticed. The queen also dies and people do not seem to notice. We only see Hamlet biding the farewell.

Hamlet’s death also gets overshadowed and blurred. After his death he is no longer remembered. The tragedy can be explained by two formulas. First, we shall use the formula of the story where Hamlet avenges his father’s death by killing the king. According to the formula of the plot, Hamlet does not kill the king for that reason but for different reasons other than vengeance. This contradiction is a part of the play by Shakespeare who intended to express himself by teasing the audience’s emotions. The tragedy fulfills its task set from the beginning, but it keeps on deviating. The audience realizes later that it came from a totally different direction. The reasons that prevented Hamlet from killing the king, led to the death of the king. The catastrophe gets to a point of contradiction when the play gets interrupted by irrational events. However, the mystery and obscurity come from the author (Shakespeare 78).


In conclusion, the play’s contradiction revolves around the story, plot and the dramatis personae. These three factors develop differently. Hamlet makes feelings of the audience move to two levels. First, one can see the goal of the tragedy and secondly the digressions also arise. After the king’s death, people immediately get attracted by the death of Hamlet, the protagonist. This gives the spectator the understanding of the contradictions and conflicts that existed throughout the play. Different people give different reasons for Hamlet’s delay or failure to act. Some say that the task given to him was tough for him to tackle. Others believe that Hamlet was a coward, with some other critics arguing that Hamlet was an imaginary person since he had died even long before the start of the play. However, we have found out that it was the author’s tactic to bring out the message intended to give it to his audience. He, however, manages to kill the King at the end of the play, though he appears to have killed him for different reasons rather than vengeance for his father’s death.

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