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The Role Of Revenge In Edvard Munch's Hamlet And Medea

Good Essays
In the classic stories of Hamlet and Medea, the act of revenge causes a chain reaction affecting the emotional, ethical, and psychological state of mind of the characters.

At the beginning of the play, Medea is already in agony at the knowledge of Jason leaving her for another woman. Medea is characterized as a woman of extreme behavior and extreme emotions. Out of love and passion for Jason, Medea sacrificedher family and home, but that soon changes and passion is transformed into rage. The painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch helps illustrates the passion and loss that Medea encountered in that very moment. Even Nurse recites: “It is clear that a dark cloud of sorrow is flaring up
from its first flicker and soon will ignite
into a greater passion. Medea at any cost vowed to see the destruction of Jason. How can so much love for someone be strewed to the point of loathing and resentment?”

In the Oxford Dictionary, revenge is defined as “The action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.” Medea rationalizes her actions as valid because it inflicts pain upon Jason but is this considered ethical?

Hamlet is ordered by the spirit of the King Hamlet (Hamlet’s father) to seek revenge on the man who took his throne and married his wife. Although Medea and Hamlet have a similar objective, Hamlet’s desire for revenge doesn’t come from his natural instinct, but something that was inflicted on him by his father. Hamlet
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