The Definition Of Revenge In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1220 Words 5 Pages
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. The characters in this play will not stop until they get what they are looking for; but unfortunately, looking to get even can often end in one’s own demise. When King Hamlet’s ghost appears, he tells his son he wants vengeance on his killer. “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder,” (1.5.25). …show more content…
Prince Hamlet has a group of actors act out a play Hamlet calls The Mousetrap. The play shows a scene of a King being poisoned. Half way through the play, Claudius gets up and leaves; Hamlet thinks this is his evidence that Claudius did kill King Hamlet. Hamlet follows Claudius and finds him praying for forgiveness for killing King Hamlet. But, Hamlet does not want to kill him while he is praying. “Now might I do it pat, now ‘a is a-praying, and now I’ll do’t – and so ‘a goes to heaven, and so am I revenged. That would be scanned. A villain kills my father, and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven,” (3.4.73-78). 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. He wants Claudius to pay for what he has done to King Hamlet. Topchyan states, “Edward states that maybe now “the contagion of hell has touched Hamlet. But, repellent though it is that Hamlet so passionately wants the eternal perdition of his victim, it is perhaps more striking that he should think that it is in his power to control the fate of Claudius’ soul,” (Topchyan). Later, Prince Hamlet is talking to his mother and he hears a noise …show more content…
She is upset that Hamlet does not love her. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet pretends like he is crazy, and tells Ophelia he does not love her. Ophelia believes him, and this is only the beginning of what makes her crazy. After hearing that her father has died and that it was Hamlet that killed him, this pushes her over the edge. Ophelia officially starts to go insane. Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, wants revenge on Hamlet for making Ophelia feel the way she does and for killing their father. “How came he dead? Ill not be juggled with. To hell allegiance, vows to the blackest devil, conscience and grace to the profoundest pit! I dare damnination. To this point I stand, that both the worlds I give to negligence, let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged most thoroughly for my father,” (4.5.126-132). Laertes will not tolerate Hamlet killing his father. He wants revenge against Hamlet, just like Hamlet wants revenge against Claudius for killing his father. When Hamlet returns, he sends letters to both Laertes and Claudius stating that he has not died and is back in Denmark. After reading the letters, Claudius and Laertes plan to kill Hamlet. Laertes challenges Hamlet to a sword fight, and Laertes poisons his sword. Claudius poisons a glass of wine, and will offer the cup to Hamlet. When Hamlet arrives, Claudius tries to get him to drink the wine. Hamlet declines, and begins to fight Laertes. After

Related Documents

Related Topics