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Hamlet vs Agamemnon Essay

In my opinion, the play Hamlet is more tragic than Agamemnon. They are both tragedies as they both fulfill Aristotle’s definition of tragedy as they both depict the downfall of a basically good person through some fatal error or misjudgment, which produces suffering and insight on the part of the protagonist and arousing pity and fear on the part of the audience. They also have all the elements of Greek tragedy such as hubris, catharsis, peripeteia, anagnorisis, and hamartia (“Ancient Greek Tragedy”). The most important reason that Hamlet is more tragic, in my opinion, is because the protagonist, Hamlet, is an integral part of the play and his character is much more developed. In Agamemnon , the protagonist, Agamemnon, is a secondary character to his wife who, in my opinion is the main character.

Hamlet is a tragic hero, as is Agamemnon, following Aristotle’s criteria for the elements of a tragic hero. For example, they both evoke the audience’s pity and fear, have a major flaw of character and are destined to fall in some way (“Tragedy in Drama”). However, because Hamlet is the main character, we see, hear and understand more of his character. When Hamlet delivers his many dramatic soliloquies about mortality, betrayal, and the futility of life, he shows us his tortured world and the anguish, grief, and uncertainty which eventually takes over his life, leading to his death (“Hamlet Tone”). As the reader, I felt so much sympathy for Hamlet and this made the play more tragic. On the other hand, the reader knows more about Agamemnon from the Chorus and other characters, rather than from the character himself. The reader has much less insight into his personality and feelings and I found that, as the tragic hero, he lacked the emotion of Hamlet.

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