Revenge And Vengeance In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Shakespeare identifies that the impulse to retaliate is strong, primitive, and human. One of the darkest segments of human nature is that we are willing to be led by this natural urge, despite the disastrous implications. Hamlet, initially claims himself to be “very proud, revengeful, ambitious”, which show how he clearly associates revenge as a honourable and spirited act, making him keen to punish Claudius immediately. Hamlet chooses to put on an “antic disposition” as he plans the revenge, but for a long time he finds himself being stuck in “a kind of yeasty collection”. This metaphorical comparison reflects the bubbling, frothing process of fermentation that anticipates results but never happens because the “bubbles are out”. This demonstrates …show more content…
Shakespeare diverges the normal logic of revenge and represents our desire for revenge is an inward tragic flaw. We have the dark aggression within us that motivates revenge and eventually lets to our own demise. Most societies make rules to control humans natural desire for retaliation, such as Christians being taught to love their enemies, and to “turn the other cheek”, while the law of Moses imposed strict penalties for injuries such as “life for life”. Human nature is dark in the sense that we are so desperate to retaliate and still find ourselves justifying our unjust acts as Hamlet does, thinking that we “must be cruel only to be kind”. Our flaw of carrying out revenge ultimately is reflected in the play, as it ends in a tragic “bloody resolution”, perfectly reflecting the “strange eruption in [their] state” mentioned earlier by Horatio. Shakespeare makes us reflect upon our unmerited natural urges for revenge, because it is guaranteed not to let us win back justice, and on the way we are bound to be dominated by gloomy revengeful thoughts that cloud our judgements and this will destroy others around

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