The Importance Of The Civil War In Hamlet

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Even following two world wars and the invention of nuclear arms, the Civil War remains the bloodiest conflict in American history. War between two sides of the same coin is deadly and dangerous, no less so when it occurs within the mind. The namesake of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a prime example. The young Hamlet craves vengeance against the man who murdered his father, yet he is consumed also by a need for utter perfection in his killing. Though filled with a sense of urgency and need to complete the task, Hamlet is continually delayed in his plans by an intense desire for utmost certainty; certainty that his uncle is the murderer and certainty that his uncle’s soul will be condemned. It is this conflict, and the resulting delay in revenge, that …show more content…
It is immediately following the death of Queen Gertrude that Hamlet at last delivers the killing blow to his treacherous uncle. When Hamlet finally kills his uncle, there is no certainty in his vengeance. Laertes claims Claudius is Gertrude’s murderer, saying, “The King, the King’s to blame.” Hamlet, normally so pursuant of the entire truth, accepts this and stabs the king. Hamlet does not take the time to assess all the facts; he simply strikes. 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. Whenever an opportunity for revenge is presented, Hamlet hesitates, not having the certainty he craves. Uncertainty is presented often throughout the play; uncertainty as to whether or not Hamlet is truly insane, whether or not the ghost is real, whether or not Ophelia killed herself, and much more. But it is necessary to accept this uncertainty for the play to progress. This is something Hamlet realizes only at the very end of the play, when he is able to take revenge for his father’s murder. Thus, Hamlet’s desire for certainty keeps him from swift vengeance. It is only when he forfeits this certainty that he can truly achieve revenge, suggesting that vengeance is founded on

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