1. Comment on Hamlet as an Aristotelian tragedy. How does Shakespeare craft the play to highlight this?
Aristotle, in his work Poetics, sets down six rules that make a tragic hero. Hamlet exhibits these six qualities throughout the play. Aristotle asserts that the hero must belong to the nobility and must be liked by his subjects. During the course of the narrative, the audience is told that Hamlet is loved by the Danish people, which is why Claudius attempts to have him executed in England.
Aristotle also notes that the reason for the tragic downfall of the protagonist must partly be their own fault. In Hamlet’s case, it is his indecision regarding revenge that leads to the death of all important characters. Aristotle also mentions that the punishment should be bigger than the fault and that the final downfall should lead to better tidings. This holds true for the play since it ends in multiple deaths; further, Denmark is handed over to Fortinbras, who is expected to restore peace and prosperity. These are some of the aspects that make Hamlet an Aristotelian tragedy.
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