Essay about William Shakespeare 's Hamlet 's Tragedy

1705 Words Dec 1st, 2016 7 Pages
“My crown, mine own ambition and my queen” (Hamlet, 3.3.55). In Hamlet’s tragedy, these three acquisitions of murder prevent King Claudius from obtaining spiritual forgiveness in his refusal to sacrifice them. In this soliloquy, Claudius recognizes that in order to receive true absolution, one must sacrifice; retaining the benefits of one’s sins begets only hollow, self-serving guilt as penance. Similar boundaries to redemption exist in Henry IV, Part 1, as its characters exist in the wake of the deposition and murder of Richard II. In the work, King Henry IV seeks expiation in a planned crusade, but neglects to abdicate the throne granted to him by his denial of divine right. Similarly, Hotspur seeks to atone for his rebellion against Richard by rebelling further, declining to relinquish the glory and conquest of his treason and, in fact, seeking more glory and more conquest. Finally, Hal, guilty of keeping low company and knowledgeable of his contentious right to the throne, plans to compensate for his negligence as a prince by becoming a devoted and capable ruler, eschewing the leisure and intemperance of his companions to accomplish this goal. Because Henry and Hotspur refuse to renounce the advantages earned at Richard’s expense, Hal’s redemption is, in effect, the only honest one in the play. Consequently, the concurrent incomplete redemption arcs of Henry and Hotspur serve to build the struggle that drives the play and grants Hal the opportunity to prove himself,…

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