Revenge In Hamlet

Revenge In Hamlet:
The Presence of Revenge in Hamlet
Revenge is a major theme in the Tragedy of Hamlet. In the play Hamlet, by
William Shakespeare, the theme of revenge is repeated numerous times
throughout the
play and involves a great deal of characters.
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Category:
ENGLISH
Paper Title:
Revenge In Hamlet
Text:
The Presence of Revenge in Hamlet
Revenge is a major theme in the Tragedy of Hamlet. In the play Hamlet, by
William Shakespeare, the theme of revenge is repeated numerous times
throughout the
play and involves a great deal of characters. Of these characters, eight are
dead by the end
of the play by result of murder which was initiated through revenge.

Shakespeare uses the
revenge theme to create conflict among many characters. Revenge causes one to
act
blindly through anger, rather than through reason. It is based on the
principle of an eye for
an eye, but this principle is not always an intelligent theory to live by.

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Young Fortinbras,
Laertes, and Hamlet are all looking to avenge the deaths of their fathers.

There are three
major families in the Tragedy of Hamlet. These are the family of King
Fortinbras, the
family of Polonius, and the family of King Hamlet. The heads of each of these
families are
all slaughtered within the play. Fortinbras, King of Norway, is killed by
King Hamlet; slain
by sword during a man to man battle. “our valiant Hamlet-for so this
side of our known
world esteem’d him-did slay this Fortinbras.” This entitled King Hamlet
to the land that
was possessed by Fortinbras because it was written in a seal’d contract.

Polonius is an
advisor to the King, and father to Laertes and Ophelia. He is nosy and
arrogant, and he
does not trust his children. He is killed by Young Hamlet while he is
eavesdropping on a
conversation between Hamlet and his mother. “How now! A rat? Dead, for a
ducat,
dead!” King Hamlet is the King of Denmark, and Hamlet’s father. He has
killed King
Fortinbras, only to be killed by his brother, Claudius. “My offense is
rank, it smells to
heaven; A brother’s murder?” Each of these events effects the sons of
the deceased in the
same way, it enraged them.

Shakespeare uses the revenge theme to create conflict between Hamlet and
Claudius. In Act I, scene 5, Hamlet is visited by the ghost who was his
father. The ghost
makes Hamlet aware of his murderous death when he tells Hamlet of how
Claudius had
killed him. The ghost says this to Hamlet regarding Claudius, “Revenge
his foul and most
unnatural murder.” This is where Hamlet is first introduced to the
revenge plot between
himself and Claudius. Hamlet wants to insure that the ghost really was his
dead father
before he kills Claudius. To do this Hamlet has people act out the death of
his father in
front of Claudius and declares him guilty by his reaction to the play. “
O good Horatio, I’ll
take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound.” Hamlet declares Claudius’
guilt to Horatio
and now realizes that he must continue on with his revenge plot. The conflict
between
Hamlet and Claudius is delayed by Hamlet but does eventually occur in the
last scene.

Hamlet’s mother has just died, Hamlet has been sliced by Laertes’ poison
sword, and
Hamlet has just struck Laertes with a fatal blow when Laertes says that this
was all
brought on by Claudius. Hamlet, now realizing that there is no more time for
him to delay
his revenge, stabs Claudius and kills him. Revenge was the motive for the
conflict between
Hamlet and Claudius.

Every one of the three eldest sons has one thing in common, they all want
revenge
for a slaughtered father. In the time in which this play is set, avenging the
murder of a
father was part of one’s honor, and had to be done. All of the three sons
swears
vengeance, and then acts towards getting revenge for the deaths of their
fathers. Young
Fortinbras is deeply enraged by the death of his father, and he wants revenge
against
Denmark because of this occurrence. Fortinbras wanted to, by force, regain
the lands that
had been lost by his father to Denmark. “Now sir, young Fortinbras-as it
doth well appear
unto our state-but to recover of us, by strong hand and terms compulsive,
those foresaid
lands so by his father losta” Claudius sends messengers to talk to
Fortinbras’ uncle, the
new King of Norway. He forbids Fortinbras to attack Denmark, and instead
convinces him
to attack the Poles to vent his anger. “His nephew’s levies, which to
him appear’d to be a
preparation ‘gainst the Polack; But better look’d into, he truly found it was
against your
highness. On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys, receives rebuke from
Norway, and,