Code Of Honor In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince Of Denmark

Good Essays
The Renaissance Era moved through history with many influential changes to the way that people lived their lives that would have lasting effects for many years to come. Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Prince of Denmark enacts how an evolving code of honor, combined with complex ploys to restore a loved one’s honor through acts of vengeance can create difficult and complex scenarios in one’s life. Hamlet, Laertes and Horatio’s allegiances and promises of love and honor to other characters come into conflict with their lives. Hamlet and Laertes both wish to honor their father but the process in doing so is not as simple as it may seem. Horatio’s honor and love of Hamlet comes into context as being a calm reasonable mind once emotion overrule thoughts. …show more content…
However, the new code that began no set itself into history during the timeline of the play Hamlet, states that one must think of his or her actions, as well as their implications. Reta A. Terry states in ‘“Vows to the Blackest Devil”: Hamlet and the Evolving Code of Honor in Early Modern England” that “This emphasis on the conscience, (…) forced men to balance obedience to the State with adherence to Christian virtues of patience and forgiveness that could be found within God’s …show more content…
Hamlet, burdened with enacting his father’s revenge and trying to find a balance between emotion and reason is difficult enough. Include Laertes’ rage-induced attempts of revenge as well as Horatio’s wanting to prove his loyalty and slowly people end up hurting others one by one. The evolving code of honor causes conflict for Hamlet as he must reason with being an honorable Christian and yet, avenging his father’s death and leading to an ultimate sentence to hell. Laertes and his rage creates a situation in which his act of revenge would have left him bound for hell, all for restoring the honor that his father lost. Horatio is truly and utterly loyal to Hamlet and wishes to prove it making the ultimate sacrifice and yet, he listens when told that telling the events that transpired will be his way of avenging Hamlet’s honor. And yet, the evolving code of honor in the Renaissance has shown in this play that at times, it is better to be patient and wait for scenarios to play out than to act on them

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    He will eventually kill King Claudius because he values justice so highly, and realizes that he was born to do this task. Hamlet portrays his values of revenge and justice again when he walks in on King Claudius praying. He says, “And am I then revenged / to take him in the purging of his soul / when he is fit and seasoned for his passage? No.” (3.3.89-91). Hamlet is debating whether or not to kill Claudius is this time of vulnerability, as he wants to avenge his father’s death.…

    • 1162 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Laertes is straightforward and just in his initial course of action, but his plan for vengeance becomes more convoluted and treacherous as Laertes becomes more desperate. Upon learning of his father´s death, Laertes storms the castle, demanding to be ¨revenged most thoroughly for [his] father.¨(IV.v.152-153) Laertes wants justice because he wants to face Hamlet in a head on fair fight. He wants to confront Hamlet and get a full understanding of the situation before fighting him. Unfortunately, Laertes gets desperate enough to be manipulated by Claudius, causing the deaths of many people. Laertes wants to get revenge so badly that he attempts to kill Hamlet with a poisoned, sharpened foil unknowingly during a fencing match.…

    • 1430 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hamlet’s doubt springs from his deep thought, that which inspired plans to observe others while he acts insane, a way of reaching his anticipated vengeance. Since he is rational and thorough in his plans for revenge, Hamlet halts at a given opportunity for vengeance, shown when he muses, “A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven. O, this is hire and salary, not revenge! ...He is fit and seasoned for his passage” (3.3.79-82, 89). Because King Claudius has just confessed, Hamlet refuses to kill him, wishing to be effective and precise.…

    • 1212 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    To hell allegiance, vows to the blackest devil, conscience and grace to the profoundest pit! I dare damnination. To this point I stand, that both the worlds I give to negligence, let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged most thoroughly for my father,” (4.5.126-132). Laertes will not tolerate Hamlet killing his father. He wants revenge against Hamlet, just like Hamlet wants revenge against Claudius for killing his father.…

    • 1220 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hamlet Act 2 Analysis

    • 1056 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Shakespeare in Hamlet act V scene 2 reveals many aspects of the human nature, along with the divinity which shapes the path of our journey. Thus, Hamlet believes that things are meant to happen will be going to happen and no one can avoid it. Men create problems and make harmful plans for others, but there is a divine power which curves your path different than other’s plan, yet bad experiences created by others can make a tremendous mental impact on the person. In Act V scene 2, the beginning of the fighting Hamlet asked Laertes for his pardon. As Hamlet was responsible for Laertes’ sister and his father’s death.…

    • 1056 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This results in the king’s inner conflict of guilt and desire to protect his position, especially as rebellions rise against him in the form of Hotspur and the Archbishop. Henry IV, Part I, where Falstaff and Hal’s relationship plays out extensively, provides concrete context for Henry IV, Part II 4.5.122-140. The play concludes with the battle where Hal saves his father’s life and becomes a hero. Despite this moment, Henry IV in Part II still sees his son as degenerate and delinquent, and still believes that his son’s disposition is divine punishment for his usurpation. Part I also contains a parallel scene to Henry IV’s mistaken death, where Hal presumes Falstaff, a father-like figure, dead.…

    • 1492 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    That intricate state of mind allows the reader to comprehend and formulate an opinion about the characteristics of the human thought process. In order to grasp the message that Shakespeare is trying to deliver through Hamlet to the audience we first need to understand why Hamlet continues to delay taking revenge on Claudius. Morality could be one reason why Hamlet does not take revenge when he first has the opportunity too. Another reason could be his bitterness and disappointment in not only Claudius but also in himself. Hamlet knows right from wrong and has a very strong sense of moral integrity but the want to take revenge is eating him from the inside and overpowering his moral consciousness.…

    • 970 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    From this passage we can see that they clearly had a great deal of respect towards the late old Hamlet. Even the word choices by Shakespeare in this passage show that he wanted this idea to be reinforced in the reader’s mind. When Horatio says “Dared to combat” there is extra emphasis on the word “dared”. He could have just as easily said that old Hamlet was challenged to combat or confronted with battle, but he decided upon “dared to combat” because it paints an image of a brave king going into battle only because he needs to defend his kingdom. It helps to preserve the morality of the king even though he has killed somebody.…

    • 1770 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He is afraid to speak the truth, and by doing so he makes things much worse. In conclusion King Claudius is horrible cowardly person and it is his fault for creating a big mess. He is manipulative, deceitful, and willing to hurt or even kill those closes to him. He murdered his brother, indirectly killed his wife, and tricked a desperate man into committing homicide. Even though some argue that Claudius feels guilty throughout the play, he still continues to exacerbate the situation.…

    • 896 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    —Will you be ruled by me?” (4.7.56-58). With this quote showing Laertes to be in a dark time in his life, with his loved ones dead, Claudius steps in to take advantage of his desperation. His anger is the root of his gullibility, with him feeling that his duty as a son is in jeopardy. He is unable to recognize the deceitfulness of Claudius’s true plan and agrees whole heartedly to commit the sin. In addition, all these events cause him to act in a dishonorable manner.…

    • 1190 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics