The Act Of Violence In Shakespeare's Hamlet

Improved Essays
Have you ever drifted away from your own sanity in hopes of getting revenge? Does the thought of violence or chaos cross your mind when it seems like the world is out to get you? In one of William Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies, Hamlet, acts of violence seem to follow each and every character in the play. In the beginning, Hamlet was thrown into a whirlwind of change and endless emotions. With his father just being murdered by his uncle Claudius and Polonius banning the relationship between him and Ophelia, the only thought running through Hamlet’s mind was anger and revenge. The acts of violence throughout the play comes in three different forms; murder, suicide, and combat. Polonius is unexpectedly murdered, Ophelia goes mad and commits …show more content…
After a short conversation between Gertrude and Polonius, Hamlet entered the room while Polonius, acting as a spy, hid behind a tapestry. As Hamlet conversates with his mother, he hears something and thrust his sword in its direction, killing whatever had made the noise; Polonius(3.4.24-30). This sudden act of violence wasn’t intentional, however Hamlet felt no guilt in committing it. After purposely acting insane towards Ophelia, he knew that she would go back to her father and tell him. 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. Hamlet quickly responds by belittling, insulting, and making fun of his mother for what sins she has committed. The ghost of King Hamlet then appears and reminds Hamlet that his mother is not the problem and that he must seek revenge for his father’s death. The violent act of Hamlet …show more content…
After an agreement to a “friendly fencing match”(5.2.154-6), Laertes and Hamlet picked out their swords for battle. This specific act of violence leads to a snowball effect of devastating events. As Hamlet began to win the battle, Gertrude drank a poisoned drink that Claudius had intended for Hamlet to consume. Hamlet had been stabbed with Laertes poisoned blade. All was the fault of the King. At this point in the story, readers begin to infer on who is going to live and who is going to die. In the end, everyone but Hamlet’s best man, Horatio, lives. This act of violence began the tragedy of this story. As a whole, this story is full of pain, disappointment, and lack of trust. Hamlet trusted no one and it got him far, but not far enough. Claudius trusted a selected few and still ended up being killed by Hamlet. Even though Hamlet got revenge for his father's murder he was too late. This combat scene between Laertes and Hamlet have the readers at the edge of their seats. Hamlet’s quick temper and clouded judgement cost him his life. Although this scene is primarily seen as one of disappointment and sadness, it could also be seen as one of relief or even hope. Hamlet got what he wanted by killing the king, Laertes got to join his sister and also got revenge on Hamlet for killing his father, and Claudius got what he wanted in Hamlet’s death. Horatio is the hope of the kingdom and is the only person left alive

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    After his father’s traumatic death, the ghost of the dead King came to Hamlet and told him that he was murdered by Claudius. Hamlet was consumed with his revenge which pushed him, as well as his unstable relationships, to suffer from borderline personality disorder. Hamlet also became depressed and had suicidal tendencies. His family and friends spied on him which broke their trust with Hamlet. Hamlet couldn 't control his actions and killed Polonius thinking that he was Claudius; however Hamlet felt no remorse or guilt.…

    • 1428 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hamlet made it very clear during the play in letting Claudius know that he knew about the murder of his father. This made Claudius both angry and scared. We know this when he calls out, “Give me some light, away!” (Act 3, Scene 2, 270). These emotions later lead to his decision to poison Hamlet’s drink, which leads to the accidental death of Gertrude. Hamlet was also the reason his lover Ophelia went mad and killed herself.…

    • 1247 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Although Hamlet manages to successfully kill his uncle and avenge his father, he dies because Laertes swipes him with his poisoned sword; his revenge lead to his death. The same is true for Laertes; he dies from a swipe of Hamlet’s poisoned sword after seeking revenge for when he killed his father, Polonius, causing his sister, Ophelia’s, madness/death. Hamlet and Laertes are killed by their uncontrollable want to assert their male…

    • 887 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Mousetrap In Hamlet

    • 1477 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Therefore, it caught the conscience of the king for his awful act of murder of Hamlet?s father. Hamlet follows him outside, which provides Hamlet with both his first opportunity to kill Claudius and his start of procrastination. Hamlet?s tragic flaw of procrastination has truly affected him and is leading to his downfall. He has reached the point of considering killing himself. ?…

    • 1477 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior 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
  • Superior Essays

    For Polonius, Lord Chamberlain and father of Ophelia, Hamlet mistook him for Claudius when he cried out from behind the draperies, while also blinded by his want to have Claudius dead for killing his father. The play depicts that Polonius knew of Hamlet’s insanity, after telling both the King and Queen, and after witnessing it himself, stating, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” (Shakespeare, 2.2, p. 205-206). Thus when Claudius is killed by Hamlet with poison, forced due to Hamlet’s revenge both his father and mother’s deaths, such should have been expected. Especially since the King ordered Hamlet’s death as well, stating “I like him not, nor stands it safe with us…To let his madness range” (3.3, p. 321). Finally, Laertes, son of Polonius, is killed and kills Hamlet by means of a duel, through self-defense; which before Hamlet proclaims, “you must needs have heard, how I am punish’d…With a sore ditraction” (5.2, p. 229-230).…

    • 2370 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior 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
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Conscience In Hamlet

    • 604 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The play “Hamlet” written by William Shakespeare is full of characters showing their conscience getting the best of them and losing their conscience as well. From Hamlet to Claudius and even Laertes, all showing some form of conscience and how they use or lose it throughout the play. In my opinion Hamlet shows the most use of his conscience but eventually, because of all the events that occurred throughout the play, loses his conscience to execute his goal that was set by the ghost of his father. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet meets the ghost of his father, the ghost tells Hamlet his father was murdered and needs to seek revenge upon Claudius for the murder. However, Hamlet doesn't know if the ghost is really that of his father thus delays…

    • 604 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Ophelia has gone mad due to Hamlet; she then kills herself. Her death is laid on Hamlet by her brother Laertes; in addition, Laertes is upset at the death of his father. Revenge has expanded to Laertes as he says with regard to Hamlet “But my revenge will come” (222). Claudius and Laertes conspire to trap Hamlet in order for Laertes to execute his revenge for his father and sister. The nature of revenge has expanded and it grows ever hungrier as it seeks for mortals to destroy; Laertes is the next person to be consumed.…

    • 1186 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    In the article, “Fathers and Sons in Hamlet” (Rasmussen), Rasmussen states, “Hamlet avenges the murder of his father by killing Claudius - an action which is reflected both in a subplot (Laertes avenging the murder of his father, Polonius, by killing Hamlet).” As Hamlet seeks revenge upon King Claudius, Laertes plots the future murder of Hamlet. The subplot presented in “Hamlet” attains a chain of events in which a son enacts revenge upon the murder of their father. Laertes does not only want revenge for the murder of his father, but also for the insanity of his sister caused by the death of their father. Laetes vows to avenge both the death of his father and the death of his sister (suicide caused by her insanity). In the occurrence of these events Hamlet is in England, where he has been sent by his mother and uncle to recover from his insanity.…

    • 1514 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays