Hamlet – ‘Hamlet’s tragic flaw is…’

Von Schlegal (1809) 1 saw Hamlet as too weak to act and as a hypocrite
Von Schlegal (1809) 2 scruples (a feeling of doubt of hesitation with regard to morality or propriety of a course of action) are merely pretexts for his delay
Ernest Jones (1949) 1 His delay in killing Claudius is because he is revolted at the ideas that motivate his desire to kill his father – his obsession with his mother
Ernest Jones (1949) 2 Hamlet recognises in Claudius a villain but also sees Claudius as a reflection of his own desires, so his detestation of him is also of himself and his own desires
Ernest Jones (1949) 3 Claudius represents the most buried part of hid own personality, the part he does not want to face. His revulsion/misogyny towards Ophelia and Gertrude meets with his desire that they both be made pure again
Joanna Montgomery Byles Hamlet’s conflicting drives lead him to self-destruction: to die or to live, to honour or to revenge, duty to himself or his father, shame to revenge, shame at his own inability to revenge
Alexander Walsh (2001) 1 The play has more to do with mourning than it does revenge. Hamlet’s ‘problem’ is wrongly attributed to his delay tactics rather than his impulse for revenge.
Alexander Walsh (2001) 2 Hamlet’s problem is not that of the revenger, but of the mourner, and that mourning requires that Hamlet remember in order to forget
Alexander Walsh (2001) 3 Laertes is more the traditional revenge figure of the play, serving to make us re-think Hamlet’s ‘delays’, not as weaknesses, but as necessary and vital intellectual contemplation
Finton O’Toole (2002) It is a mistake to read Hamlet’s delay as a tragic flaw because Hamlet is not enough of a hero for this to be a tragedy in the Aristotelean sense
A.C.Bradley ‘Hamlet’s reflectiveness might be dangerous to him’
Sigmund Freud (1900) Freud assumes that Hamlet’s desire to kill Claudius stems not only from his vengeful desire but his yearning for Gertrude and that Hamlet’s disgusted but grotesque obsession with their sexual relationship comes from his jealousy of Claudius