This is most prominent in the character Prospero. Prospero was wronged by his brother, Antonio, who conspired with the king to usurp his dukedom and banish him to the island. In his quest for revenge, Prospero causes a tempest that shipwrecks the royals on the island. He punishes them by providing the illusion that Ferdinand has died in the shipwreck, while Ariel leads him off to fall in love with Miranda. Prospero further threatens the royals with “Worse than any death” (Shakespeare 3.3 95), which causes them to go insane with grief and regret. Prospero’s desire for revenge is evident when he states “Mine enemies are all knit up in their distractions. They now are in my power, [...] Young Ferdinand, whom they suppose is drowned, and his and mine loved darling” (Shakespeare 3.3 109). In his guilt, Prospero becomes sympathetic for the royals, especially Gonzalo, the noble lord who helped him survive the journey to the island. Prospero’s plans change, as he realizes that what he seeks is not vengeance but forgiveness and reconciliation. This is evident when he says “my nobler reason ‘gainst my fury do I take part. The rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance” (Shakespeare 5.1 34). Prospero leads the royals into his magic circle, returns their mental state and forgives all who wronged him. This ultimately leads to happiness and Prospero getting his dukedom reinstated. Shakespeare shows that it is human nature to be controlled by one’s emotions and that once forgiveness is achieved, one can focus on goodness rather than hatred. Need
Virtue and vengeance are two of the strongest influences on human actions, but it is clear to see, through Shakespeare’s work, that vengeance is the strongest. Without the desire for revenge, The Tempest would never have begun. Humans cannot resist the urge to avenge
In contrast, I see it in a different way. Vengeance can also lead to peace and relief since you’re not feeling anxious to wrong a person because you already did it. Although, vengeance can make you feel relief after wronging a person, virtue has even more value since you make a decision to let go of revenge and not harm the person who wronged you back. As it can be seen in the argumentative model “ Neither Justice nor Forgetting: Defining Forgiveness” written by William Shakespeare, it elaborates on how Prospero showed mercy towards Caliban, and it “...could be seen as forgiveness” (paragraph 7, pg.497). Additionally, it also states that Prospero was also “moved to mercy by Ariel’s sadness for the shipwreck victims” (paragraph 8, pg.497). This demonstrates how virtue can be more valuable since it causes people sadness towards seeing other people seeking for vengeance after getting wronged. The fact that Ariel saw Prospero wanting to seek for vengeance made him sad and encouraged him to talk to Prospero and convince him to seek for virtue rather than to get
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The old law of ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind.” By this, King is implying that revenge does not solve any issues, but instead affects multiple people who are involved in a conflict. Revenge is defined as the act of harming someone for any aggression towards another. “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet,” written by William Shakespeare, gives an excellent example that the thirst for vengeance can ruin everyone who is connected. Some examples of the play are Romeo and Tybalt, whose actions caused them to meet an unfaithful end. Their actions, which were guided by hatred, not only affected them, but both of their families. Romeo and Tybalt’s actions show that revenge itself can lead to great losses,
At times, we allow our better judgment to be clouded by the emotions we conceal deep within. These moments, usually occur after brutalization caused by something or someone, making the line between vendetta and righteousness, nearly non-existent .Like a wilted white rose dipped in blood, the anguish from our lacerations distorts and sullies the purity of the soul creating a desolate void of hatred. Justice and revenge is there a difference, is one more virtuous? We see this struggle between justice and revenge in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. In, Hamlet, Hamlet, Fortinbras, and Laertes were all wronged and take separate paths of retribution.
Revenge often corrupts the mind from thinking straight. All the characters in the play were impacted by other people’s vengeance. Due to this, many characters met their doom. In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the theme of revenge is portrayed, by Hamlet’s decisions, the desires of other characters, and the fates that they met.
The nucleus of the plot in Shakespeare's The Tempest revolves around Prospero enacting his revenge on various characters who have wronged him in different ways. Interestingly enough, he uses the spirit of Ariel to deliver the punishments while Prospero delegates the action. Prospero is such a character that can concoct methods of revenge but hesitates to have direct involvement with disillusioning his foes. In essence, Prospero sends Ariel to do his dirty work while hiding his involvement in shipwrecking his brother, Antonio, from his daughter, Miranda.
The relevance and significance of the revenge tragedy is in the way it explores human nature and forces audiences to evaluate ideologies such as revenge and justice. The concept of revenge is accompanied by moral conflict and Shakespeare demonstrates that by acting immorally society is likely to be riddled with corruption. Hamlet seeks to avenge the death of his father but struggles with the ramifications of seeking righteous revenge through an immoral act. The imposition of revenge instills the existential questioning on Hamlet as it contradicts his with his social expectation. His
Justice is the pursuit of righteousness and moral good standing within an individual or a group. Shakespeare, however, gives new perspective to this idea of justice in his work, The Tempest. Shakespeare critiques justice and portrays it in way in which justice is defined as the rule of the majority, and governed by the person with most power. Through the actions of the main character, Prospero; this new viewpoint of both justice and mercy emerges.
Revenge is shown throughout Shakespeare's play Hamlet, leaving the destruction of human relationships in its wake. The act of vengeance is usually a violent act against someone as a result of something they directly or indirectly did. This can be seen in The Tragedy of Hamlet; Prince of Denmark with Hamlet’s plan to murder Claudius for the death of his father, King Hamlet, and Laertes’ similar plan to murder Hamlet for the death of his father, Polonius. When someone is attempting to seek retribution against someone else, it results in that person deceiving the people they love to further progress their intentions. Because of revenge, ones suffering increases due to the continuous loss of relationships with your love ones. Revenge could even put you in a situation that could risk your own life. Throughout Shakespeare's play, William Shakespeare demonstrated how revenge leads to a path of deceit and despair.
Justifying the act of revenge is often a difficult thing to do. It is commonly said that two wrongs don’t make a right and committing an act of revenge is very rarely going to end up being a morally good decision. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, we see many different characters attempting to get revenge and the effects revenge has on them. Further evidence of character’s change due to revenge can be found in Goddard’s contemporary criticism of Hamlet. Finally, in the episode Act V of This American Life, inmates in prison provide a relatable perspective of Shakespeare’s characters and help contextualize their motivations with real experiences. Among the stories of revenge present in the play, Hamlet’s task to kill Claudius causes the most drastic change in his character. We see Hamlet grapple with false madness and his own morals as his life collapses around him. As Hamlet struggles to complete his goal his ideals shift and he is finally able to enact his revenge and kill Claudius. The desire for revenge and the actions towards carrying out that revenge can completely change an individual’s character.
Quintessentially speaking, revenge is a thing that many have sought in response to a tragic event unfolding. Typically, as a result, vengeance is contemplated upon by the victim as a means of retribution, a way of making things right and seeking justice on the behest of the victim, if the law will not grant justice through due process due to corrupt forces stemmed deep within it- corrupt seeds of a corrupt plant. Therefore, revenge become an apparent option for those willing to walk that path [of no return]. However, instances of revenge not being attained in the “clear cut” way it is ordinarily acquired have occurred from time to time throughout history. One of the most prominent examples of unconventional revenge attainment can be found within the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, entailing the revenge path walked by its eponymously named main character, Prince Hamlet. Specifically, his intentful delay in attaining his revenge against his uncle Claudius for his direct role in the death of his father, King Hamlet. This literary conundrum has dumbfounded literary critics for over 400 years and counting- due to the fact that a universally accepted consensus amongst them as well as the general public as to why Hamlet delayed his revenge has not yet been reached.
In his play Hamlet, William Shakespeare frequently utilizes the word “revenge” and images associated with this word in order to illustrate the idea that the pursuit of revenge has caused the downfall of many people. He builds up the idea that revenge causes people to act recklessly through anger rather than reason. In Hamlet, Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet all seek to avenge the deaths of their fathers. Hamlet and Laertes manage to avenge their father’s deaths and in doing so, both rely more on their emotions rather than their reasoning, which eventually leads to their downfalls at the end of Hamlet.
Revenge is a recurring theme in Hamlet. Although Hamlet wants to avenge his father’s death, he is afraid of what would result from this. In the play Hamlet, Hamlet’s unwillingness to revenge appears throughout the text; Shakespeare exhibits this through Hamlet’s realization that revenge is not the right option, Hamlet‘s realization that revenge is the same as the crime which was already committed, and his understanding that to revenge is to become a “beast” and to not revenge is as well (Kastan 1).
Throughout the play, Prospero?s god-like representation is shown by his judging, punishing, and forgiving. With the help of Ariel, Prospero also appears to be all-knowing too. It can be argued that he is an Old Testament God, where he turns to vengeful fury when he is crossed, and the question throughout is Prospero will overcome his anger and forgive his enemies. Christians are expected to forgive and revenge is not a Christian attribute. As Prospero observes, forgiveness is a nobler action than vengeance. However, it may be argued that Prospero?s actions were quite harsh. For instance, it may be said that the sufferings of Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo are comic. However, there seems to be something cruel in the way Prospero deals with his old enemy Alonso, letting him think until the last minute that his beloved son Ferdinand is dead. (Bringing Ferdinand back from the dead, so to speak, is God-like too.)