Norton Pages 1288-1350 Exploring Contexts — Mini Essay Question #2 – Shakespeare

In ancient Greek tragedy, misfortune is often the result of hubris — the excessive pride that leads a hero to overstep the bounds of his destiny and thus to offend the gods. More recent writing about tragedy develops the concept of hamartia — the notion that the protagonist’s fate is brought about by a tragic flaw or failing of character. What propels Hamlet — the prince’s proud wish to avenge his father’s death and assert his rights? a tragic flaw in Hamlet’s otherwise noble character? or something else altogether? Citing evidence from the play, write a brief essay (about 250-300 words) examining the circumstances and motivations that lead to Hamlet’s death and the fall of Denmark.