The Desire For Revenge In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

Improved Essays
Father knows best. But what if his advice and wisdom is ill-advised? What if dad only has his best interest at heart? In Shakespeare 's tragedy, Hamlet, the ghost of the dead king appears before his son, Hamlet, and says, “Revenge this foul and most unnatural murder...Against thy mother aught. 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 …show more content…
Without thinking, Hamlet 's one bout of impulse leads to a fatal error in judgement, the murder of Polonius. When Hamlet finally has the chance to speak to his mother, conflict ensues as Hamlet stabs the king 's counselor and Gertrude cries, “O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!”(III.iv.28). The one moment when Hamlet acts without thought, he creates a domino effect of emotional tailspins triggering Laertes ' quest for revenge and a massive body count. Although, the death of Polonious may seem like a tragic mistake; Hamlet had reason to think that the man behind the curtain was King Claudius. Realizing his error, Hamlet exclaims, “Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell! I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune,” (III.iv.32-33). The scene reveals that Hamlet has reached his emotional climax and abandons the thoughts that plagued him throughout the play. This moment of apathy shows the emotional detachment Hamlet truly needed to seek retribution against Claudius had the ghost not mentioned

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    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!…

    • 1220 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
  • 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
  • Improved Essays

    The murder of Polonius caused Ophelia to go insane and drown herself, and the death of Laertes 's sister and father caused him to take action and plan with Claudius to kill Hamlet. While trying to poison Hamlet, Gertrude mistakenly drank the poison meant for Hamlet. Laertes stabbed Hamlet with the poisoned sword and Hamlet returned the favor. Hamlet then killed Claudius by the same poison meant for Hamlet; revenge was the motive that backfired on both Claudius and Hamlet by killing each other and the people they loved. The lesson to be…

    • 1428 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His desire for revenge turns him into a dishonorable man fueled by rage and hatred; one swipe of Hamlet’s poisoned sword has Laertes joining his late father and sister. Laertes’ and Ophelia’s deaths could have been prevented had Laertes taken a few precious moments to grieve, and help his sister ground herself with the death of their father. Hamlet could deal with his uncle as he pleases,…

    • 887 Words
    • 4 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
  • Superior Essays

    Although Hamlet was intellectual when it came to his plans, he was overly obsessed with vengeance to kill Claudius, and is very indecisive especially on his plans to kill him. In the tragedy Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Prince Hamlet lost his father and has been depressed ever since. His uncle Claudius took over the throne and married Hamlet’s mother Gertrude. One day a ghost, Hamlet’s dead father, told him how Claudius killed him by putting poison into his ear. Hamlet seeks revenge for his dead father and wants to kill Claudius for his crime.…

    • 1988 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Decent Essays

    His plan failed when the king told him who killed his dad (hamlet) and trick him to stop his war and kill hamlet. laertes wants revenge so bad that he decides to put poison on his blade to kill hamlet.laertes irrational behaviors which stem from his desires for revenge can be explained using principles of behavioral economics. Laertes snap judgments fueled his desire for revenge and blinded him from thinking straight.Malcolm Gladwell a famous book righter rights in Blink. Thin slicing is a easy way to tell how people act. (page 14) in hamlet latest hates hamlet from the beginning.…

    • 431 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hamlet portrays a mad image in order to conceal his true feelings about his father’s death and gain the opportunity to revenge it by killing Claudius. Thus, Hamlet creates an image of insanity to perceive every one, including his love Ophelia. Hamlet tells Ophelia that “virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it: I loved you not” (3.1.116). He…

    • 475 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    William Shakespeare displays the extreme length someone will go to seek revenge, even if it means taking a person’s life. When the ghost reveals that its hamlet’s father, and was poisoned by his brother Claudius, Hamlet gets the instant impulse to dispose of his Uncle Claudius. The ghost instantly instructs Hamlet to get revenge for his foul death. An example of this is when the author states, “So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.” (I, V, 11). After learning that Hamlet’s…

    • 536 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays