Revenge in hamlet: An Overarching Theme

Hamlet’s decision-making process is complicated, and at times it seems that he’s not making well-thought-out decisions. However, as he learns more about revenge and the purpose of life, his behavior changes drastically. 

Hamlet experiences an existential crisis in Act 1 Scene 1 after learning that Claudius, his uncle and worst enemy, murdered his father. He makes preparations to kill Claudius even before the play begins.

Hamlet was claimed to be terrified, uncertain, and unconfident before killing his own father. Hamlet shows no fear of killing anyone in this quote. Throughout the play, revenge plays a crucial role in what happens to the characters.

Hamlet is ultimately vindicated even though his revenge quest may not be justified. Claudius dies and goes to heaven. He could have bought his way out of it or had him killed while resisting arrest, but he didn’t do either. His death serves as a lesson to all who watch and it makes Hamlet feel that he has achieved his goals.

In an attempt to exact revenge on the murderer, Hamlet fails to kill his father. He believes Claudius deserves more; he deserves to suffer more. In Act Two, Scene 2, Hamlet expresses that he hasn’t done anything so far, as he killed his father for revenge. He takes a scullion’s role when “telling” his dad about it and other insults directed toward Claudius from Hamlet are meant as insults against himself more than Claudius.

Hamlet acknowledges that he was not capable of the task his father had asked of him, which is why he feels conflicted. He also has a distaste for Murder and feels frustrated with his own paradoxical emotions of longing to kill the people that have wronged him but holding himself back from it.

For Hamlet, his father represented the epitome of what a King was–fair, noble, and powerful. This is why Hamlet wanted revenge on his father so much and was dismayed when he saw him as just an ordinary man.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the protagonist has struggle with his morality. Throughout the play, various characters–such as Laertes, Polonius, and Ophelia–encourage Hamlet to act on what they feel is the best course of action in the situation despite their flaws. The events in the play eventually climax when Hamlet realizes that nobody tries to fight against what has already been set in motion and that all actions are ultimately meaningless, regardless of whether or not someone turns out to be good or bad in the end.

Prince Hamlet has undergone a lot of challenges this entire play, but one significant development is the fact that he enters into a depressed state. This was a result of his lack of morals and acceptance of there being no afterlife or alternative for life after death. In response to the unjust living environment in which he lives, Prince Hamlet develops his own mental instability.

In Act 3, Scene 1 of “Hamlet,” Hamlet’s famous soliloquy reveals more about the role he was developing. Hamlet feels obligated to seek revenge after his father’s death. He mulls over whether it would be better to just die instead of facing all of the troubles he has caused though. Hamlet also does a bit more with this line: it’s easy for him to break down and kill himself, but doing so wouldn’t mean that he’d have gotten revenge (for his father) if suddenly he were incapacitated by an illness or something else.

His mother’s admonition to take off the black cloak and perform some action is due to her not feeling as though she had any support for Hamlet; she compared her son to a vicious animal who had spent his whole life is in darkness, never seeing the light of day. She also uses harsh language for him and likens him to an adulterous beast by comparing him with King Hamlet, who was his father. She used these words to dissuade him from making any rash decisions to hurt someone who had wronged them.

After Gertrude’s insult, Hamlet is left feeling targeted and unwanted. He has a difficult time understanding why it seems everything was directed toward him. His mother never cared about her husband either, so he feels that this is unjust.

Hamlet is being told to stop being weak and act like a man by Claudius. He is telling him to keep being stubborn in his grief and be the one who lives. He wants Hamlet to see himself as a leader, not Gertrude’s follower.

It was because Claudius asked God for forgiveness that Hamlet took revenge, but he also asked, “Is it possible to be forgiven and still defy God?”. If Claudius cannot accept his mistakes and occasionally makes unwise choices, then he does not deserve forgiveness. Therefore, Hamlet’s decision to kill Claudius deserved his fate.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are sent to spy on Hamlet by the King and Queen. When they come, they start hiding behind their weak excuses that make Hamlet immediately suspicious. Ultimately, Hamlet knows they are lying about visiting Elsinore to check up on him because of his old friend.

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Once the King and Queen denied Polonius’ request for Hamlet’s death, Hamlet planned to execute his two friends. But once he had them write the letter and send his own brother to England, telling him he was wanted dead- Hamlet diminished how much he cared about them. And now they were faced with a situation where they could be executed at any time- as they would have been if they didn’t get their message across- or execute their friend. The death of Polonius and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is an examples of revenge gone wrong.

Hamlet’s guilt over his mother and father’s death changes over the course of the play, but his side characters Helped him with that. When Laertes returned from France shortly after his father’s death, he decided to do something other than revenge, in a similar manner to what Hamlet did. Unlike Hamlet, he did not have the same morals as Hamlet, so he felt compensation when he avenged his father and overcame his conscience for revenge.

There are both good and bad consequences to revenge in this play. It is the protagonist of the play, Hamlet, who seeks revenge on his uncle for killing his father. The effectiveness of revenge is found in the understanding that redemption for revenge can sometimes be nearly impossible, a pursuit traditionally viewed negatively by Shakespeare’s characters.

Sample Details

Topic

Hamlet, Revenge

Subject

Literature

Academic Level

Undergraduate

Page

3

Words

1076
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Sample Details

Topic

Hamlet, Revenge

Subject

Literature

Academic Level

Undergraduate

Page

3

Words

1076
Download PDF

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