Justice in Hamlet

1412 Words Apr 28th, 2008 6 Pages
In the revenge play of Hamlet, the idea of poetic justice can be seen throughout the play various times. Shakespeare allows the reader to understand the mistakes of each character by killing them off in a justly manner. While seeking revenge, the main characters of the play earn their poetic ending, permitting Shakespeare to restore the karmic balance of the play. Claudius, Leartes, Polonius, are all killed poetically as a direct result of their actions, while Ophelia is used to reiterate the poetic justices in the other character because of the fact that she is not killed poetically.
Claudius poisoned King Hamlet in order to become King himself. While he feels the guilt of killing his brother, Claudius doesn’t want to give up the fruits
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“Marry, well said, very well said. Look you, sir, Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris, And how, and who, what means, and where they keep What company at what expense; and finding By this encompassment and drift of question That they do know my son, come you more nearer Than your particular demands will touch it. Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him, As thus: “I know his father and his friends, And, in part, him.” Do you mark this, Reynaldo? (A.II.sc.i.ln 6-15).” Polonius wants to know what is Laertes doing and has sent Reynaldo to do his spying for him. We can see how these actions and character traits will continue throughout the play and will lead to his poetic death. Even though his death is an accident, he gets what he deserves because he is where he shouldn’t be: the King and Queen’s chambers. Hamlet thinks he is Claudius and that is why he kills him. When Hamlet finds out that it is, in fact, Polonius he says, “Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell. I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune. Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger. (A.III.sc.iv.ln 32-34).” Polonius’ death is the most notable act of poetic justice in the play. Shakespeare uses this character’s death to show the audience how snooping and meddling into other people’s business is morally wrong and you will be punished for it accordingly.
The character of Ophelia is driven to insanity

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