This all sets the stage for Hamlet’s mental state prior to learning that he was killed by somebody in his family. These themes of death and betrayal lead into the end of the first act when Hamlet is tasked by the ghost of his father to seek revenge against Claudius for what he did. Hamlet believes that he was “born to set it right” (1.5.190). The extremes of this line reveal that Hamlet believes that the whole reason for his existence is to avenge his father. This need for revenge drives Hamlet for the rest of the play. He wants justice for his father, but he also wants to punish Claudius for his murder and marrying his mother. He gives in to human nature when he starts striving to avenge his father’s death.
From the beginning of his and his mother’s conversation Hamlet was very angry and on edge with her for being with his father’s murderer. Hamlet somehow knew someone was eavesdropping on their conversation as he had been spied on previously. He suddenly decides to act out of fury thinking how angry he was at Claudius and kills who’s behind the curtain, thinking it was Claudius. Hamlet realizes after that he killed the wrong man, it had been Polonius that he killed but he didn’t care much saying that Polonius was a fool. Hamlet sees the ghost again after and the ghost tells Hamlet he still must carry out his revenge for his father because he had failed .
Hamlet really wanted the revenge on Claudius but was really on the fence of what to actually do to follow through with then plan. Claudius was brave to feel so free, as Hamlet had opportunities to take advantage of him and had plenty of hate towards him for more than one reason. The action Hamlet may want and outcome of it, may be completely different as to what his father would do or like him to do.
As the play goes on, Hamlet encounters his father's ghost. Upon discovering that his father's death wasn't natural, he says with much feeling that "Haste me to know't, that I with wings as swift/ As meditation, or the thoughts of love,/ May sweep to my revenge" (1.5.29-31). The ghost tells him that he was murdered by Claudius. His motives were his love for Gertrude, without her knowledge or consent. Hamlet is furious and seething with rage with the news of his father's murder. Knowing the truth makes Hamlet's subconscious realize that killing Claudius would be similar to killing himself. This is so because Hamlet recognizes that Claudius' actions of murdering his brother and marrying Hamlet's mother, mimicked Hamlet's inner unconscious desires. Hamlet's unconscious fantasies have always been closely related to Claudius' conduct. All of Hamlet's once hidden feelings seem to surface in spite of all of the "repressing forces," when he cries out, "Oh my prophetic soul!/ My uncle!" (1.5.40-41). From here, Hamlet's consciousness must deal with the frightful truth (Jones).
In the play by William Shakespeare, the ghost of King Hamlet approaches his mourning and depressed son, Hamlet, who is still affected by his death. The ghost explains to Hamlet how he died and demands that Hamlet avenge his death. Note how the ghost approaches Hamlet when he’s the weakest and still mourning to persuade and manipulate him into taking revenge for him. In Act one Scene 5 the ghost states, “If thou didst ever thy dear father love-/ Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” The way King Hamlet words his request is more as a challenge; in which Hamlet’s love for his dead father can only be proven by carrying out whatever his father wishes. The ghost influences most Hamlet’s behavior, which not only affects the plot, but also the relationships with other characters. The ghost influences the relationship between Hamlet and his mother, Gertrude. He becomes angry at Gertrude because of her fast marriage with his uncle Claudius. Through the use of innuendos, antic disposition, and metamorphic plays, Hamlet makes it his duty to get King Claudius back for killing his father. Hamlet agreed to avenge his father without second thought. As the play advances, Hamlet begins to doubt the apparition. In act 3 Hamlet begins to have second thoughts and states, “The spirit that I have seen/ May be a devil…” This shows Hamlet’s inner conflict between listening to his father and avenging his death or following his ethics. To be sure that Claudius
According to Kastan, “Hamlet is prevented from enacting his revenge by the discomforting ratios that his literary imitations generate” (4). He is also stopped from executing his revenge because of his inability to separate himself from his father, to be different from what generated him (Kastan 4). By this point, Hamlet is no longer caught between whether to avenge his father or not, it is that he no longer realizes whether he is doing this for his father or for himself. When Hamlet finally does kill Claudius, he does it to avenge not his father, but himself (Kastan 4). “Hamlet dies with no word of the father he has sworn to remember” writes David Scott Kastan, “The act he finally
In Hamlet, William Shakespeare presents the main character Hamlet as a man who is fixated on death. Shakespeare uses this obsession to explore both Hamlet's desire for revenge and his need for assurance. In the process, Shakespeare directs Hamlet to reflect on basic principles such as justice and truth by offering many examples of Hamlet's compulsive behavior; as thoughts of death are never far from his mind. It is apparent that Hamlet is haunted by his father's death. When Hamlet encounters the ghost of his father, their conversation raises all kinds of unthinkable questions, for example murder by a brother, unfaithful mother, that triggers Hamlet's obsession. He feels compelled to determine the reliability
William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet relays Hamlet’s quest to avenge the murder of his father, the king of Denmark. The late King Hamlet was murdered by his brother, Claudius, who took the throne and Hamlet’s mother Gertrude for himself. Hamlet is beseeched by the ghost of his father to take vengeance upon Claudius; while he swears to do so, the prince inexplicably delays killing Claudius for months on end. Hamlet’s feeble attempt to first confirm his uncle’s guilt with a play that recounts the murder and his botched excuses for not killing Claudius when the opportunity arises serve as testimony to Hamlet’s true self. Hamlet is riddled with doubt towards the validity of the ghost and his own ability to carry out the act necessary to
Although deeply sorrowed by his father?s death, he did not consider payback as an option until he meets with the ghost of his father. The ghost tells Hamlet King Claudius, his own brother, murdered him. The ghost then tells Hamlet ?to revenge his foul and most unnatural murder? (I.v.25). Although murder was an acceptable form of revenge in Hamlet?s time he is uncertain about killing Claudius. However, upon his father?s command, Hamlet reluctantly swears to retaliate against Claudius. Hamlet does this not because he wants to, but because his father makes it clear that it is his duty as a son. Hamlet promises to prove his love and duty by killing Claudius.
In Elizabethan times, a type of play known as a "revenge tragedy" became popular. These plays revolved around, "... the revenge of a father for a son or vice versa, the revenge being directed by the ghost of the murdered man..." (Harmon and Holman #6). Other characteristics include real or pretend insanity, philosophic soliloquies, hesitation on the part of the protagonist, conspiracy, and the use of horror. William Shakespeare's Hamlet fully satisfies each of these traits, making it an excellent example of a revenge tragedy. Certainly, the most critical theme in the play by far is that of revenge; it fuels the plot and story of Hamlet, reveals the hamartia of the protagonist, and is used successfully to
The ghost of Hamlet's father explains to Hamlet that his brother, Claudius, murdered him and that if Hamlet does not resolve the crimes of his death he will be stuck in purgatory. The three other men do not hear what is said between Hamlet and the ghost, but they do witness the conversation. Therefore, Hamlet is not insane for claiming to have seen the ghost of his father. Upon seeing the ghost and hearing these truths, Hamlet begins to devise a plan to avenge his father's death; he returns to Elsinore acting insane and overwhelmed with grief as a front for the knowledge he has obtained.
At the end of Act I, Hamlet learns that his father was killed by Claudius because he wanted the throne and his wife. Hamlet on the other hand wanted to be king to honor his father and to be a good ruler. Claudius had shown his only motive was to stay king by trying to have Hamlet killed in England. It is only after Hamlet is consistently reminded of his revenge he acts upon it; “Do not forget! This visitation / Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose” (3.4.110–11).
Hamlet becomes stuck on trying to prove his Uncle Claudius guilt before getting revenge. Claudius got the throne by killing his brother by poisoning him and then marrying his brother wife. He despise Hamlet and wants him dead, laying next to his father. Hamlet wants payback for the death of his father and wont stop until he gets it , no matter what is the outcome. King Claudius is Hamlet’s main enemy.
Hamlet went from a mourning Prince of Denmark over the death of his father, to a revenge seeking murderer as the play progresses. This transition in character is evident through Hamlets meaning of life; the desire for justice. After the meeting with the ghost, his worldview completely changed to a craving for revenge. In today’s ever changing world, people who act on revenge are no longer socially acceptable. These people who act on revenge often commit mortal sins and heavy crimes and are set to life in prison. Hamlet is the only person to blame for his death because of his worldview. “A villain kills my father, and for that I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven.” (Shakespeare 3.3 76-78) At this point, Hamlet’s worldview is completely based on getting revenge for his father. There is nothing more important in life at the time. Hamlet has just killed Polonius mistaking him as Claudius. Moments later Hamlet is face to face with Claudius, but chooses not to kill him because he wants the worst for him. Hamlet says “ I, his sole son, do this same villain send to
In the play, Hamlet, William Shakespeare plants the plot of revenge into Hamlet's head. In Denmark, Hamlet's father is murdered by Claudius. Claudius is the new king and Hamlet's uncle. Hamlet does not like Claudius because he marries Gertrude, his mother, and because Hamlet's father dies. The ghost of Hamlet's father appears to Hamlet to tell him to seek revenge on his murderer. The ghost then tells Hamlet Claudius has murdered him by pouring poison into his ear. Hamlet loves his father and believes he needs to kill Claudius. The opportunity to kill Claudius appears when Claudius is in his room. Hamlet walks in on Claudius praying and is about to kill him. Hamlet refuses to murder Claudius in that moment. In Hamlet, Hamlet does not kill Claudius when he is given the opportunity because Claudius is praying, Hamlet is not ready to kill, and Hamlet is insane.