Revenge Tragedy In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

Superior Essays
In this revenge tragedy, “Hamlet”, by William Shakespeare, Hamlet is the prince of Denmark who faces internal combat continuously. Hamlet is the tragic hero of the play, who faces much grief after his father’s death, but even more anguish after knowing about the deeds of his mother, Gertrude, and his uncle, Claudius. “She married. O! Most wicked speed, to post/ With such dexterity to incestous sheets./ It is not nor it cannot come to good;/ But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue” (Ham. I. II. 156-159). Hamlet is not content with the decision his mother made, as it broke his heart to see her joyful when she should be mourning over his father’s death. In his attempts to figure out what caused the death of his father, and he comes upon …show more content…
A shocked and appalled Hamlet cannot believe his eyes, making him question himself whether the ghost is realistic or not until he hears his father’s ghost tell him, “the serpent that did sting thy father’s life/ Now wears his crown” (Ham. I. V. 39-40). Upon hearing that, he is stunned, but he vows to take revenge from Claudius, making that his one goal. He even makes a statement about his state of mind by saying, “I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records, all saws of books, all forms, all pressures past/ That youth and observation copied there;/ And thy commitment all alone shall live/ Within the book and volume of my brain” (Ham. I. V. 100-104). Hamlet has clear intentions towards his revenge towards Claudius, while making that bold statement. He knows what he has to do in his mind, without making it appeal to anyone else, not even his closest friend, Horatio. While Act I shows Hamlet’s definite purpose, the acts that are portrayed afterwards show the obvious weaknesses of Hamlet. So, after getting to know the true identity of his uncle, Claudius, Hamlet decides to act upon the Ghost’s word and kill him, but there was no guarantee he’d be able to fulfill it or …show more content…
The amount of sorrow that Hamlet built upon himself was understandable, and it became even more visible with his father’s ghost appearing. Once he knew his father’s culprit through the Ghost, he vowed to take revenge at any cost and time, but somewhere he was still unsure, as he let his perfect opportunity slip away so easily. To some it may seem like a reasonable gesture of his to not kill him during his prayers, because it wouldn’t consider to be a revenge according to Hamlet, but if he had made up his mind to execute him at any point, he shouldn’t have let that one chance slip by so easily. Besides Claudius, there was also the poor Ophelia, who endured so much for Hamlet, yet he seemed incredibly uncertain towards his feelings for her. In an instant, a tragedy of Ophelia’s death, changed his mind, and made him confess his love for her. Hamlet’s uncertainty towards Ophelia seemed visible throughout the play, but him confessing his love for her at her grave brought on questions that were left unanswered. Hamlet’s perplexity was divulged to his loved ones, which brought on a tragic event, yet leaving behind his tentative

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Mousetrap In Hamlet

    • 1477 Words
    • 6 Pages

    He says ?And yet, conscience doth make cowards of us all? (III, i, 83). Hamlet states that his guilty conscience is giving him trouble about killing Claudius. He does not know what to do. Whether he should avenge his father?s murder, which he needs to do according to the ghost, or he should keep his reputation and just continue to mourn over his father and let Claudius live.…

    • 1477 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Revenge Theme In Hamlet

    • 1119 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Although nobody else would know that Old Hamlet was murdered, Hamlet would have a guilty conscience and would think that not avenging his father’s death is very cowardly and worthless. Obviously, the setting and time period do have an effect on what Hamlet believes, as a sane person would not go towards such extreme measure just to get revenge. At that time, it would have seemed that if someone you knew had killed a relative or friend, the best way to counter it, is to murder them back. It clearly shows that revenge, for Hamlet, is what will protect his honor and keep him from becoming a coward, although he does “miss” opportunities to kill Claudius. Hamlet actually believes that murder or any sort of violence is the best way to go forward with his plan of revenge.…

    • 1119 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Hamlet, being a loyal son, has been prolonging his vengeance in order to properly take action against Claudius. After the play, Hamlet had the opportunity to kill Claudius, but Hamlet saw that he was praying to God for forgiveness for murdering his brother. He pondered whether to act or not, realized that killing Claudius at that instant would surely send him to heaven. Hamlet does not want him to be saved, but to suffer in hell doubtlessly how his father is suffering and having to endure a brutal punishment since he had no chance to confess his sins and be purified. He decided to delay his duty for a better time until he encounters Claudius behaving in a sinful way, either drunk in his sleep, angry, or in his incestuous bed.…

    • 1822 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This cry by Hamlet to have his mother feel just one true ounce of sorrow for her dead first husband, and the fact that she follows his death with not this but the marriage of his brother, makes Hamlet enraged with passion towards not only his mother, but also towards his uncle, Claudius. The way Hamlet feels he is able to justify feeling such rage is through stating that he will “put an antic disposition on” (1.5.192). Although Hamlet is stating here that he is acting of mad, his demeanor and actions throughout the play suggest that this is not just an act, which he comes to admit latter on in the…

    • 1095 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hamlet wants to kill the King; however, he wants Claudius to go to hell. For this reason, Hamlet does not kill Claudius while he is praying. Instead, he waits for a better time. Hamlet wants Claudius to endure the worst possible pain he can. He wants Claudius dead, but he wants to make sure he does not go to heaven.…

    • 1220 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Leave her to heaven, and to those thorns that in her bosom lodge to prick and sting her,” (I.v.25, 86-88). The ghost gives Hamlet the leverage to act impulsively and avenge his death by killing his uncle, King Claudius, but under one condition; Hamlet cannot hurt his mother, Gertrude. In contrast, to the ghost 's plans for retribution, King Claudius tells Laertes,“Revenge should have no bounds” (IV.vii.126). Claudius ' statement only fuels Laertes ' thirst for revenge, whereas…

    • 1538 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Also he feared what would happen if he killed the king: “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,” (3.1.53). In other words Hamlet fears the consequences he may have to face, but he knew “the death of a father cannot be forgotten or forgiven until it has been avenged” (Coyle 12). Considering the morality of each choice, Hamlet chooses revenge while holding the faith that if he should then by faith vengeance will happen. Hamlet knows he faces committing murder which disobeyed the sixth commandment “Thou shalt not kill” (Baker 80). He did not take revenge until he “persuaded himself that revenge is a mode of restoration” (Kastan 113).…

    • 1534 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Gertrude is not convinced that love is the reason for Hamlet’s insanity. She says, “I doubt it is no other but the main,/ His father’s death and o’erhasty marriage” (II.ii.59-60). This shows that Gertrude believes that Old Hamlet’s death and her fast remarriage is the reason for his actions. The audience can see that she is feeling guilty of her actions. Gertrude loves Hamlet and wishes that she wasn’t the reason for his madness.…

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In this quote, Hamlet tells his father’s ghost that he will erase all memories in his and only the request of vengeance from his father’s ghost. Hamlet, being the son of Hamlet senior, wants to obey and respect his father. And so, knowing that his father was murdered and knowing who did it, as well as his father’s ghost requesting it makes Hamlet feels like it is his duty and responsibility to make Claudius suffer. As a result, Hamlet impulsively lets himself be overcome by vengeance and completely ignore all other components of his memory. Hamlet is overcome by vengeance because he believes it is his duty to avenge his…

    • 1185 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    It is in this moment that most would say Hamlet has achieved his revenge. Yet this vengeance was carried out without any of the certainty Hamlet has sought earlier. This is the vengeance he initially promised his father’s ghost; swift and unforgiving. This is Hamlet’s revenge. Unencumbered by doubts, Hamlet is able to take revenge, suggesting that Hamlet’s previous thoughts of vengeance are essentially thwarted continuously by his need for certainty.…

    • 965 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays