Hamlet - The Real Tragedy

This essay Hamlet - The Real Tragedy has a total of 902 words and 4 pages.

Hamlet - The "Real" Tragedy

In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the death of a character
becomes a frequent event. Although many people lose their lives as a
result of their own self-centered wrong-doing, there are others whose
death are a result of manipulation from the royalty. This is the case
of Polonius’ family. The real tragedy of Hamlet is not that of Hamlet
or his family but of Polonius’ family because their deaths were not
the consequence of sinful actions of their own but rather by their
innocent involvement in the schemes of Claudius and Hamlet.
The first character to die in Hamlet is Polonius. Although
Polonius often acts in a deceitful manner when dealing with Hamlet, it
is only because he is carrying out plans devised by the king or queen
to discover the nature of Hamlet’s madness. Being the king’s Lord
Chamberlain, it is his duty to obey the king and queen’s wishes and it
is this loyalty that eventually proves to be fatal for him. An example
of hoe Polonius’ innocent involvement with the royalty results in his
death can be found at the beginning of Act III, scene iv, when Hamlet
stabs him while he is hiding behind the arras in Gertude’s room. This
shows how Polonius, a man unaware of the true nature of the situation
he is in, is killed by a member of the royalty during the execution of
one of their schemes. This makes Polonius’ death a tragedy.
The next member of Polonius’ family to die is his daughter
Ophelia. Ophelia’s death is tragic because of her complete innocence
in the situation. Some may argue that Polonius deserves his fate
because of his deceitfulness in dealing with Hamlet while he is mad,
but Ophelia is entirely manipulated and used by Hamlet and the king
for their own selfish reasons. An example of how Ophelia is used by
Hamlet takes place in Act II, scene I, when Hamlet uses her to
convince his family he is mad. Ophelia explains to Polonius how Hamlet
has scared her, causing Polonius to draw the conclusion that Hamlet
has an "antic disposition". Although this is the subject to
interpretation and many believe that this is simply Hamlet taking one
last look at Ophelia before he becomes engaged in his plan to kill
Claudius, the fact that he scares her and does not try to alleviate
these fears points to the conclusion that he is simply using her to
help word of his madness spread throughout the kingdom via Polonius.
In Act III, scene iv, Hamlet kills Polonius while he is hid

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