The Concept Of Revenge In William Shakespeare's Hamlet
Hamlet expresses, “The spirit that I have seen / May be a devil, and the devil hath power / T’assume a pleasing shape, yea, and perhaps, / Out of my weakness and my melancholy, / As he is very potent with such spirits, / Abuses me to damn me” (2.2.585-90). With this doubt clouding his mind, Hamlet seems completely unable to act. This indecision is somewhat resolved in the form of the play. Hamlet comes up with the idea of the play that is similar to the events recounted by the ghost about his murder to prove Claudius guilty or innocent. After the players performed the Mousetrap, Claudius is confounded with guilt he begins to pray. Claudius beseeched, “My fault is past – but O, what form of prayer / Can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder?’ / That cannot be, since I am still possess’d / Of those effects for which I did the murder – / My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. / May one be pardon’d and retain th’offence” (3.3.51-56)? When Hamlet walked in on Claudius kneeling, he is indecisive by the thought of killing Claudius right then and there. By purifying himself with prayer, Hamlet feels that Claudius will not get the after-life he deserves if he kills …show more content…
He is a young man who wants to protect his sister, Ophelia, from heartache and avenge the death of his father, Polonius. Laertes commands, “ How can he be dead? I’ll not be juggled with. / To hell, allegiance! Vows to the blackest devil! / Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! / I dare damnation. To this point I stand, / That both the words I give to negligence, / Let come what comes, only I’ll reveng’d / Most thoroughly for my father” (4.5.129-135). This quote provides insight into Laertes’ mind displaying his desire for revenge at any cost. His impulsive and irrational decision to conspire with Claudius ultimately is the reason that leads to his demise. After figuring out that Hamlet murdered Polonius, Laertes is manipulated by Claudius to duel in a fencing match with Hamlet. Laertes concocts,
I will do’t. / And for that purpose, I’ll anoint my sword. / I bought an unction of a mountebank / So mortal that but dip a knife in it, / Where it draws blood, no cataplasm so rare, / Collected from all simples that have virtue / Under the moon, can save the thing from death / That is but scratch’d withal. I’ll touch my point / With this contagion, that if I gall him slightly, / It may be death.