Hamlet is full of important literary elements for students to explore. One of these elements is the tragic hero, a protagonist who seems to be ill-fated, and destined for doom. In this play, Hamlet is the tragic hero as he leads himself and many others to their ruin and deaths.
The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, was the articulated the specific attributes or principles of a tragic hero. For the storyboard above, students can use a template to storyboard the qualities that make Hamlet, a tragic hero. The finished product outlines each of Aristotle's principles with a detailed explanation of the specific attributes.
|ATTRIBUTE||DESCRIPTION||Example from Hamlet|
|Hamartia||Flaw in the Character||Hamlet’s repeated indecision prevents him from immediately killing Claudius, indirectly causing every other death in the play.|
|Hubris||Excessive Pride||Hamlet believes he is clever enough to beat Claudius and Laertes in any challenge. In the fencing match, Laertes takes advantage of this to poison Hamlet with his fencing blade.|
|Peripeteia||Reversal of Fortune||Hamlet proves to himself that Claudius is guilty, but now Claudius knows he has to kill Hamlet. His first attempt, with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, fails, but he then arranges the fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes.|
|Anagnorisis||A Moment of Critical Discovery||There are several moments of Anagnorisis in Hamlet. The whole play is set in motion when the Ghost of King Hamlet tells the prince that it is Claudius who has killed him.|
|Nemesis||Fate that Cannot be Avoided||Hamlet's failure to act immediately leads the duel between Hamlet and Laertes, where both men are poisoned and die.|
|Catharsis||Audience's Feeling of Pity or Fear After the Hero's Fall||With the Danish royal family dead, only Horatio is left to tell the story, while the King of Norway claims the crown of Denmark.|
Grade Level 11-12
Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)
Type of Assignment Individual or Partner
Type of Activity: Tragic HeroCommon Core Standards
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a storyboard that shows how Hamlet can be considered a tragic hero.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
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