Revenge In Hamlet Essay

Decent Essays
An Eye for an Eye
A life for a life is the type of mentality many characters possessed throughout the Shakespearian play, Hamlet. Revenge is the reaction one feels when they experience the need to punish others for a wrong done on them. Throughout the play, it is evident that many tragic events occur thus driving many characters to act out on their personal vendetta. The constant need to seek out vengeance consumes an entire person and one could even argue that it is detrimental to one’s character. When driven by the need to satisfy one’s hunger for revenge, one performs irrational acts to mask their feelings of grief. This however is not an appropriate way to handle the situation as it ultimately leads to one’s downfall. This is exemplified
…show more content…
His grief motivated him to take action by formulating an elaborate plan to end the life of his uncle, now stepfather, Claudius. From the beginning of the play, it is evident that Hamlet took a disliking towards his uncle. Finding out that Claudius was the murderer of his father was all it took for Hamlet to get all riled about avenging his father’s death. Instead of taking immediate action, he decides to pretend to be insane in order to closely examine Claudius. The quote “As I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on” (I.v.172-173) shows how already, he is acting irrational. Filled with a lot of emotion, the grief that he felt consumed him as he felt the only way for him to be content again was to kill his uncle. He wanted to make people underestimate his true abilities however by doing so, he caused the death of many people. Acting insane caused Hamlet to eventually become mad. His mental state was the price he had to pay for acting out on his revenge. As the play progresses, Hamlet starts to realize that he must take action and when Hamlet realizes that he is about to die, he takes in full control as he realizes that this was his last and final chance to fulfill Old Hamlet’s desires. The quote “The point envenom’d too! Then, venom, to thy work” (V.ii.314-315) perfectly depicts Hamlet’s irrational behaviour. Hamlet’s first instinct after being stabbed by …show more content…
This event was a motivating force for him to try to take back the land that the country was lost to Old Fortinbras had died many years before by the hands of Old Hamlet. Young Fortinbras had many years to grief yet he still chose to secretly plan an attack on Denmark despite what his uncle promised about Fortinbras being under control. The quote “That so his sickness, age and impotence Was falsely borne in hand, sends out arrests On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys;” (II.ii.67-68), exemplifies the fact that Fortinbras will do whatever it takes to regain honour even if it meant going against his uncle’s wishes. This shows that his actions were rash because he went against his own family’s back to try to seek out revenge. He disregarded what was said to him and he wanted to take out his own personal vendetta on Denmark anyway. He was not thinking about if it were a wise decision. He was driven by his hunger to satisfy his needs to seek out revenge. Luckily his last warning was a wake up call to him as he no longer felt the desire to attack Denmark. Instead, he peacefully wanted to cross Denmark to get to Poland. Fortinbras himself stated “Tell him that, by his licence, Fortinbras Craves the conveyance of a promised march Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous. If that his majesty would aught with us, We shall express our duty in his eye; And let him know so.” (IV.iv.2-6).

Related Documents

  • 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

    Leading up to this point, Laertes’ anger consumes him and ultimately, his price was his life. This relates back to the theme, by showing that the murder of Polonius, makes Laertes corrupted and consumed by his anger, which was ultimately the death of him. Hamlet also becomes enraged by the death of his father, and plots to seek revenge on Claudius, explaining: “ Haste me know’t, that I, with wings as swift, As meditation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge.”(I, iv, 49-51). This part shows how Hamlet is so enraged that he will do anything to avenge his father. However, Hamlet 's anger consumes him, which later on leads to him killing Claudius, which ultimately is the cause of his death.…

    • 1101 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Young hamlet knows that King Claudius murdered his father, but he also knows the danger that he is in. Hamlet takes precautionary actions through his own insanity to protect himself from the reign of King Claudius. Hamlet is a tale of a man who cannot decide where his morals lye. He believes his scheme/revenge is the correct decision, but Hamlet procrastinates and hesitates when carrying out the death of his Uncle for the revenge of his father. In order to cover his scheme for revenge Hamlet becomes insane in the eyes of his predecessors.…

    • 1514 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Polonius did everything to keep them apart, which eventually drove them both insane. The murder of Polonius not only sparked anger in the King, it sparked anger in Laertes, Polonius’s son. This specific scene of violence contributes to the overall meaning of this play by showcasing one of Hamlet’s diverse emotions. The lack of trust and constant paranoia controls Hamlet’s ability to think and act sanely. After Polonius is killed by Hamlet, his mother is quick to ask why he would commit such a sin.…

    • 1500 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Dan adams ms.walter A.C.A 12 3/2916 And You Thought Your Family Reunion Was Bad In William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. Laertes allows his desire for revenge cause him to behave irrationally Throughout the book hamlet many of the characters are consumed with the desire for revenge. Laertes father is killed by hamlet, after he was caught spying on hamlet. Laetes puts up a revolt to make him king. His plan failed when the king told him who killed his dad (hamlet) and trick him to stop his war and kill hamlet.…

    • 431 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Mousetrap In Hamlet

    • 1477 Words
    • 6 Pages

    To prove Claudius?s guilt, Hamlet devised a whole play named The Murder of Gonzago, in which the death of Hamlet?s father was reenacted. However, Hamlet calls this play ?The Mousetrap? because it proved Claudius?s real guiltiness. During the play, Claudius recognized what this truly was portraying and he got up and ran outside. Therefore, it caught the conscience of the king for his awful act of murder of Hamlet?s father.…

    • 1477 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Once Laertes found out his father was dead he wanted to kill his father 's murder. Laertes even said himself in Act 4 Scene 5, “Let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged most thoroughly for my father.” (page 215). His loyalty and madness only makes his revenge more certain and he utilizes them as a stimulation to actually carry out revenge. Additionally, once he sees that Ophelia turned mad and eventually drowns herself because her father was killed by Hamlet and Hamlet has left her, Laertes is motivated to avenge Hamlet. In the complex story of Hamlet, Claudius also seeks revenge.…

    • 728 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The definition of revenge is “to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of, especially in a resentful or vindictive spirit” (Harper, Douglas). And William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is all about revenge. There are many instances of wanting revenge throughout the play. Although some examples might be clearer than others, revenge is the biggest theme of this play. Throughout the play, many of the characters seek vengeance upon one another.…

    • 1220 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Revenge’s Revenge Out of all the emotions a person can feel, pain is the most powerful. Pain causes clouded judgement and irrational decision making. In some cases, pain can lead to extreme anger which allows people to ache for revenge. Although revenge may seem like a logical and justifiable action, it can lead to a whole new level of conflict. In the play Hamlet, William Shakespeare creates a character who is so consumed in his pain and drive for revenge that he ultimately ruins his own life and the lives of many around him.…

    • 766 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “Revenge his most foul and unnatural murder” (I, V, 28) says the Ghost in Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. With these words, Hamlet is given a mission from the Ghost to seek revenge for both the Ghost and himself for the death of his father. However, Hamlet “is assailed by self-doubt and self-blame” (Keyishian) and struggles with the morality of what has been commanded of him. Hamlet’s conscience knows that the revenge the Ghost has entrusted to him is immoral; despite knowing this, he carries out the revenge. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is troubled by his father’s death and dislikes Claudius his uncle, who received the throne after the death of the elder Hamlet.…

    • 1186 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics