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Chemistry LibreTexts

Hamlet: Understanding Tragedy

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  • Understanding Tragedy



    Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies.Other tragedies by Shakespeare include Romeo & JulietJulius Caesar, and MacBeth.

    Generally, tragedies are accepted to have these main elements:

    -A tragic hero: of noble birth with a character flaw or weakness

    -Major conflict: hero must make an important moral decision

    -Downfall: hero (and perhaps other characters) is destroyed (usually killed) because of his character flaw

    -Meaning: hero’s death or destruction must serve some purpose

    As you begin reading, you should start watching for these elements of tragedy in Hamlet.

    You'll use this information in the first assignment for this session, 3.11 Plot and Tragedy. Click to the next page for the template.