The Dangers of Revenge
As represented in many examples throughout literature, revenge is a dangerous desire. Revenge will bring out the worst in people, often causing them to neglect their responsibilities and moral duties. Hamlet, in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, allows his personal passions to interfere with himself and those that are close to him. As a result of Hamlet’s eagerness to avenge his father, he is led to neglect both Ophelia and his mother, disregarding his morals as a person, and revealing that revenge is a destructive ambition to all those that encounter it.
Hamlet fools those around him with his madness as a part of his plan of revenge and eventually destroys the relationship between him and Ophelia. Ophelia follows her …show more content…
According to Gertrude, Hamlet’s madness is caused by “no other but the main - His father’s death and our o’erhasty marriage” (2.2). While Hamlet is so fed up with the quick marriage of Claudius and his mother, he ignores the fact that his mother still loves him. By letting the marriage get the best of him he lost a person who is there to support him, which leads him down a path of self destruction. Queen Gertrude explains to Claudius that Hamlet has gone “to draw apart the body he hath killed, o’er whom his very madness, like some ore among a mineral of metals base shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done” (4.1). Gertrude’s attempt to see the sliver of good left in Hamlet proves that she still loves him. But, Hamlet continues to push her away with his desire to get revenge and loses the only parent he has left. Hamlet then yells to God “a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer” (1.2). Hamlet has lost all respect for his mother by comparing her to an animal. With his frustration, he forgets the reality that he is her son and the duties that come with that. Hamlet’s urgent need for revenge leads him to push away his mother and leaves him without a parental figure in his life as his madness progresses. Hamlet’s plan for revenge dismisses all of his morals and he is now seen as a dangerous and cold person. He instructs himself that his “thoughts be bloody or nothing worth” (4.5). After the Ghost tells Hamlet
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'Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder,' says the ghost of Hamlet. The fact that his own uncle could kill his father leaves Hamlet dumbfounded and confused. Although Hamlet knows something is wrong in Denmark, he begins to question everything that the ghost has told him. When something is needed to be done, Hamlet is to busy
Hamlet has lived through plenty of ups and downs throughout his childhood. He has been lost and confused within himself, but knew he wanted one thing, which was revenge on his fathers killer, Claudius. His passion of hate developed for Claudius as he married Hamlets mother shortly after the king’s death. Hamlet could not decide on the perfect decision for himself, his mother and father as well as the best way to follow through with the best consequence for Claudius that would impress his father. His everyday life, along with his love life, left him with an empty heart, which slowed the process of the revenge down. Hamlet never expected to be captured and kidnapped by pirates, as he was sent overseas as a young man. His inside thoughts were attacking and overwhelming Him, leaving him depressed and anxious. Hamlet’s life has been leading him to negative thoughts that he cannot process or act accordingly to, due to the excessive amount of issues and options involved in his life at a young age, him being overwhelmed lead him to delaying the process of avenging his fathers killer.
Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is a complex play, filled with layers of meaning. These are often revealed through the madness of the characters and the theme of madness throughout the play. Although Hamlet and Ophelia are the only characters thought to be so afflicted, the reactions of other characters to this madness mirrors their own preoccupations.
In William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the playwright introduces the compelling, complex, and complicated character of the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet. In the events of the play, Hamlet swears revenge against his uncle for the foul murder of his father, the king. However, despite his intense catalyst, Hamlet reveals to be continuously torn between his motive of revenge and conflicted conscience, generating an inability to carry out his desired actions. While Hamlet possesses the passion and intellect to murder his uncle, Claudius, his actual inclination to act upon the murder directly opposes that of his powerfully emotional contemplations (S.T. Coleridge). Hamlet’s overzealous thoughts become unrealistic compared to his actual endeavors throughout the play.
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).
Hamlet’s need for revenge begins in act 1 when the ghost tells him what happened. In the play, the ghost of King Hamlet appears and tells his son, Hamlet, that he is his father’s spirit, “I am thy father’s spirit…” (act I, scene v). The ghost is talking to Hamlet and tells him how he was really killed. He says, “Now, Hamlet, hear. 'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard, A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark Is by a forged process of my death Rankly abus'd; but know, thou noble youth, The serpent that did sting thy father's life Now wears his crown” (act I, scene v). King Hamlet’s spirit explains to his son that the serpent
The play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare is about a guy named Hamlet going through a hard time in life, after the death of his father, and the remarriage of his mother to his uncle. Throughout the play were are able to get a greater understanding of who Hamlet really is. The actions of Hamlet in Shakespeare's master piece “Hamlet” proves him to a revenge seeker, emotional, and crazy.
Hamlet sees something that is rotten in his kingdom and he knows it is his moral responsibility to resolve this issues however he finishes off by saying that in actual fact he is powerless “but break my heart, for I must hold my tongue” admitting his weakness. Hamlet begins to grapple with the nature of humanity and morality following the confrontation with the ghost. The appearance of the ghost triggers Hamlet’s existential struggle “All is not well… I doubt some foul play… foul deeds will rise” (Act 1 scene 2) through the use of foreshadowing, Shakespeare exposes the nature of humanity to audiences through the construction of Hamlet’s character. He emphasises that a strong sense of morality can cause conflicts in the decision to make noble choices.
Hamlet begins to react upon his feelings and does away with his reason as he says to the ghost that he will do away with all knowledge and memory and keep within his mind the want to revenge his fathers’ murder. “Yea, from the table of my memory I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past That youth and observation copied there, And thy commandment all alone shall live”, (1.5.96-103). Hamlet begins to exhibit the argued theme that revenge causes people to act recklessly
"The time is out of joint: O cursed spite, / That ever I was born to set it right!" (I.5). Shakespeare's Hamlet is an unwilling avenger. Despite his hatred of his uncle Claudius and his sense of the injustice perpetuated upon his father's memory, Hamlet seems unable to obey the will of his father's ghost. Ultimately, this is not shown to be a sign of weakness or cowardice upon Hamlet's part. Rather, the intellectual protagonist understands all too well the futility of attempting to use violence to enact justice. By attempting to become an avenger, Hamlet simply begets more violence.
Hamlet, unlike Fortinbras and Laertes, did not follow what his advisor told him without questioning why he should take the advice. As time passes, Hamlet still has not acted out the revenge he promised his father. Out of disgust for his irreverence for his father he says, ?why, what an ass am I! This is most brave, that I, the son of a dear father murdered, prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, must like a whore, unpack my heart with words and fall a-cursing like a very drab? (II.ii.594-598). This statement prompts one to believe Hamlet has been convinced by his father?s words to act, but does not want to do so hastily. Hamlet questions the validity of his revenge by devising a plan to provide evidence of King Claudius? guilt. Hamlet took advantage of his position at the local theater by instructing his actors
There is an old saying, "The sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons." When the sons in question are Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras - pivotal characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet - one might wonder how each man's father affects their particular natures - their particular sins. While Hamlet could be considered a story in the vein of Cain and Abel; a jealous man who slays his brother, an allusion which Claudius himself makes during his "prayer" at the climax of the play - "O! my offense is rank, it smells to heaven,/It hath the primal eldest curse upon 't;/A brother's murder! . . ." (III, iii, 36-39) - the greatest sum of miseries in the play are caused by the paths taken by Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras
“While seeking revenge, dig two graves - one for yourself”, as is what happens to those who take revenge, buried in their own unforgiveness. Francis Bacon’s idea of revenge attempts to bypass this problem of unforgiveness, with the forgiveness of the perpetrator. But not all revenge can be simply forgiven, which is the case in Hamlet; Francis Bacon also knows about this problem, but describes it in his own words with “The most tolerable sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there is no law to remedy; but then let a man take heed the revenge be such as there is no law to punish”(Francis Bacon 15). Sir Francis Bacon’s idea of revenge relates to Hamlet in how revenge is handled, the repercussions of acting in revenge, and its ability to change a person's thought process.
In today's society, the media often portrays revenge as an acceptable option. This is not outright stated, but rather implied. Characters often seem to think that revenge is the only way to get closure from a bad experience, and when this is acted on, negative consequences are not shown. Rarely is the fact that vengeance is hypocritical and wrong brought up. People need to wake up and realize that revenge is always hypocritical and illogical. As Christ said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)
Hamlet and the Issue of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Play The question of why Hamlet does not immediately avenge his father's death is perhaps one of the most perplexing problems faced by an audience. Each generation of viewers has come up with it's own explanation, and it has now become the most widely known critical problem in Shakespearean studies. A rather simplistic, yet valid standpoint to take on this problem is that it was essential to the tragedy's narrative progression. As Hanmer said "had he gone naturally to work, there would have been an end to our play!".