Thesis Statement Ideas For Hamlet Soliloquies

Hamlet is the prince of Denmark. He is abroad, studying in Germany, when his father, the king, dies. He is summoned back to Denmark in order to attend his father's funeral.

Already drowning in grief, Hamlet becomes even more upset by the fact that his mother has married his uncle—the brother of her recently departed husband.

Hamlet does not think she mourned his father for a reasonable amount of time before marrying again, and the hasty marriage also means that his uncle, now King Claudius, sits upon the throne rather than himself. Hamlet suspects foul play.

One night, Hamlet sees the ghost of his father, who tells him that his death was not natural. Rather he was killed, and says his death was a "foul and most unnatural murder."

The ghost of Hamlet's father tells Prince Hamlet that he was murdered by his own brother, King Claudius, who now holds his throne and is even married to his wife. He commands Hamlet to seek revenge for his dead father's murder. Hamlet swears to fulfill his revenge and to kill King Claudius.

But later, Hamlet faces a dilemma. Can he trust the ghost? Is the vision of a spirit enough reason to kill his uncle, the king?

Later in Shakespeare's great literary work, Hamlet toys with many options to escape his unhappy situation, including suicide.

The play includes many philosophical situations and heart-wrenching scenes. This drama is worth reading for any person interested—even a little bit—in literary work, Shakespeare, drama, or just an amazing piece of writing.

William Shakespeare's Hamlet is a tragedy, and that makes Hamlet a tragic hero; however, it is important to identify the characteristics common to Shakespeare's tragic heroes before writing your thesis statement. 

First of all, Hamlet suffers from a fatal flaw, a weakness in his character which eventually causes his downfall. Unlike the characters in an Aristotelian tragedy, Hamlet is aware of his flaw virtually from the beginning of the story, adding to the sense of...

William Shakespeare's Hamlet is a tragedy, and that makes Hamlet a tragic hero; however, it is important to identify the characteristics common to Shakespeare's tragic heroes before writing your thesis statement. 

First of all, Hamlet suffers from a fatal flaw, a weakness in his character which eventually causes his downfall. Unlike the characters in an Aristotelian tragedy, Hamlet is aware of his flaw virtually from the beginning of the story, adding to the sense of tragedy. We know that Hamlet's character flaw is indecision, as we watch him waver and vacillate time after time about whether to take action or not. In one sense we admire Hamlet for this, as he clearly recognizes and values human life enough to be sure he is not killing the wrong person. In another sense, we ask ourselves exactly how much evidence he needs before he will finally take some action. It is a rather frustrating journey to see him so resolved at times and then back away from his resolution.

Second of all, Hamlet is in a position of power, as the son (and nephew and stepson) of a king, which again means his fall from nobility is more tragic than a fall from a lower social position would be. Though it means nothing to Hamlet, he has been named as Claudius's successor, establishing Hamlet's position as the Prince of Denmark.

Third, Like many of Shakespeare's tragic heroes, Hamlet succumbs to the pressures of other people, not all human, who help advance his downfall. In Hamlet, those characters would certainly be Claudius, Polonius, the Ghost and his so-called friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Each of these characters is determined, well intentioned or not, to deter Hamlet from his purpose. Polonius is a distraction both because of his infernal butting-in and because he is Ophelia's father; though he pays for that, he contributes to Hamlet's inactions and is in the wrong place when Hamlet finally does act. Hamlet's rather bumbling friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, are another distraction; he is certainly willing to have them killed because of their cumbersome and traitorous meddling. Claudius is an obvious nemesis from the beginning; the Ghost certainly influences Hamlet.

Finally, Hamlet has opportunities to save himself but does not do so--or does not do so in time--which leads directly to his death. How often did Hamlet think he was ready to kill Claudius but then could not act, sometimes for good reason and sometimes just because of his flawed indecision. His fatalistic view is part of this point.

There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will. 

Your thesis must encapsulate your thinking (which will be reflected in the rest of your essay) about Hamlet as a tragic hero. You and I would probably agree on most of these basic issues regarding Hamlet as a tragic hero; however, what is up for debate between us is whether we find Hamlet's flaw admirable or weak (see first point above). Once you decide that for yourself, you can write your thesis.

Possible thesis sentences:

  • Hamlet is a tragic hero because he demonstrates a fatal flaw which leads directly to his death. (basic)
  • In Hamlet, Shakespeare gives us a character who knows his flaw but is unable to overcome it because of his own indecision as well as the interference of others. 
  • Hamlet is a tragic hero whom we both pity and admire as he falls from his high place due to his own inaction.

Write a thesis which matches how you feel and what you will write about Hamlet. 

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