Quotes On Revenge In Hamlet

Superior Essays
Our society romanticizes revenge, we watch as the hero, in all his glory, gets revenge on the villain for the killings he has committed. It is believed that the crime committed must be matched by the revenge the victim seeks. So we cheer on the hero as he achieves justice and protects justice. However, as Gandhi, one of the wisest men ever to live, once said, “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. So if killing is so evil, why must we adopt it as a form of justice? Shakespeare romanticizes revenge in the play Hamlet. However, he makes it clear that revenge is the most destructive to the person pursuing it, turning the victim into the villain and causing the loss of their identity. We see this Hamlet’s journey to avenge his …show more content…
Ophelia is an effective example of someone who essentially “breaks” because of Hamlet’s sole focus on revenge. He takes his anger and resentment out on her, attacking her personally when she was spying for Claudius. Among many other things he says, “You nickname god’s creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance” (3.1.157-159) Hamlet’s behavior towards Ophelia shows his loss of character and disregard for anything besides his pursuit of revenge. Although it is not known for sure if Hamlet loved Ophelia, it can be inferred that the loss of love for her is a direct reflection on the loss of his character. Laertes, Polonius, the Queen, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are victims of his revenge, who for one reason or another are killed or die because of Hamlet’s actions. Hamlet killed Laertes and Polonius, arranged for the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and had a direct role in Gertrude 's suicide. And although you could argue their deaths were necessary for Hamlet’s survival, they all would have lived if not for Hamlet’s revenge. These deaths show the extent he will take his revenge and this indifference towards death of people he once cared about this showing the loss of his character replaced with villainy. It is not the action of killing these people that shows the loss of Hamlet’s identity, as much as Hamlet 's indifferent response, …show more content…
These parallels further show the destructiveness of revenge. Fortinbras and Hamlet are faced with very similar situations in which they feel the need to avenge their father’s death. Fortinbras however, unlike Hamlet is successful in his revenge because fate, or rather good luck, not the pursuit of revenge, gives him what he wants. In the end he is shown as the most likely heir to the Denmark throne and with this, he insists “I have some rights of memory in this kingdom, which now to claim my vantage doth invite me” (4.5.149-151). Proving that getting revenge is not the way to succeed. Laertes’ grief proves that and like Hamlet, he becomes consumed by the need for revenge and, in the end it causes his own destruction. It is clear that his purpose in life, like Hamlet is blurred by this hunger for revenge. Laertes’s grief over the death of his father and dedication to his revenge is best shown when he is talking to Claudius “To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation.” (4.5.149-151). Laertes shows how this hunger for revenge is universal and continuous, creating this continuous circle with no true

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