As I memorize back to my childhood age, I always had arguments and fights with my older sister. She would always do some things to get me in trouble with our parents. These acts always made me feel like getting back to her and take a revenge for what she did. Basically, revenge to people is the desire to get back at the person who did something against you or caused the action to be acted upon you (DiBattista 70). In the Hamlet, it is clear that the play is mainly based on revenge and how some characters seem to be in worst condition due to the downfall of the revenge (Shakespeare 50). The readers after reading the play usually see how Hamlet is not only driven to avenge his father but also other characters as well. The play indicates how characters act out of emotions and this affects them from doing effective revenge upon whom they wish to avenge. In the society today, many people usually revenge to their friends as it is shown in the Hamlet play. Hamlet is a play which tackles revenge not only to the hamlet himself but also the other character used in building the plot of the play (Shakespeare 74). Therefore, this paper will focus on the development of revenge in the Hamlet play as a reflection of modern society.
Firstly, after the father of the Hamlet passed away, he remained fatherless and suffered great depression. In addition, Hamlet is a gloomier and battles the fact between immortality and mortality (DiBattista 70). He is thinking of suicide when he remembers his fathers because he believes he has no reason to live anymore in his absence. It is symbolic in that he wears black cloth as the indication of life holding no meaning and the only thing is to kill himself. This could happen as a revenge of his mother Gertrude and his Uncle Claudius marriage after his father’s death. This marriage betrayed Hamlet because he wanted her mother to remain faithful to his father and not look for the relationship after the death of his father. Hamlet began to grow mad when he found the ghost of his father, the late king of Denmark who involved him the cause of his father’s death. He was sad to realize his father was murdered by his uncle Claudius the new king. The Ghost insisted to the hamlet that he should take avenge for his father.
Hamlet developed the negative attitude which causes tragic plot. In his mind, the only sole idea was to take revenge on his uncle Claudius. Claudius refused to mix in with the family and he failed to anticipate that his uncle Claudius was his new father and the king of the Denmark (DiBattista 90). His feelings against his uncle can be proved as I quote, “O villain, villain, smiling, dammed villain! My tables!-Meet it is I set it down! That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain. At least I’m sure it may be so in Denmark. So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word.” This quote can be traced to Act one scene 5 lines 107-111. The quote is enough evidence that Hamlet has nothing in mind than revenge for his father who was murdered by his uncle to marry her mother. Hamlet was just fulfilled with the wishes of the ghost which was to take revenge for his father’s death (Shakespeare 105). When Claudius was praying, Hamlet had the chance for taking the revenge and hamlets religion is incorporated in the play where he doesn’t want his uncle to go to heaven when his father is in the hell. Hamlet got enraged with betrayal and madness for his uncle who takes away his father’s life wanting to take the position as king and take advantage of marrying Gertrude her mother.
As Hamlet was totally driven to take revenge on his uncle Claudius, Prince Fortinbras of Norway, wanted to take revenge on Denmark, therefore, Claudius was to be attacked from two perspectives. Prince Fortinbras of Norway also had same problems facing Hamlet because his father had passed away too. “Now, sir, young Fortinbras, of unimproved mettle hot and full, hath in the skirts of Norway here and there. Shark’d up a list of lawless resolute, for food and diet, to some enterprise. That hath a stomach isn’t; which is no other- As it doth well appear unto our state- But to recover of us, by the strong hand And terms compensatory, those foresaid lands. So by his father lost.” This quote shows the anger prince Fortinbras had against Denmark. His anger forced him to take a revenge on Denmark (Shakespeare 130).
Throughout the play, Fortinbras and prince Hamlet are portrayed as characters that are driven by the notion of revenge against their desire to avenge their fathers. The son of Polonius, Laertes faces the need to perform revenge upon the Hamlet. The death of the Laertes father caused his desire to revenge on Hamlet who had mistakenly killed Polonius thinking that he is Claudius (Shakespeare 120). In real sense Hamlet actions to kill Polonius was unintentional but when Laertes discovered the death of his father he was only after vengeance. Laertes feelings of his father’s death can be quoted, “How come the 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 worlds I give to negligence, Let come what comes; only I’ll be revenged! Most thoroughly for my father.” This was Laertes words while investigating his father’s death. Many outcomes were witnessed as a result of Hamlet revenge. Hamlet delayed to kill Claudius and in that period Ophelia who Hamlet loved committed truly the suicide (Shakespeare 140). Her death made him delay in fulfilling the ghost wishes as he was pondering over her death. Hamlet delayed his revenge, unlike Fortinbras and Laertes he ended up killing himself in the process of his revenge against his uncle Claudius.
In summary, Hamlet is nonetheless a tragedy about revenge which is portrayed by the three sons through acting in different ways to avenge their fathers and honor them. Hamlets take revenge upon Claudius in fulfilling the Ghosts wishes and losses life in process of his planned action. In the last act of the play many characters.
DiBattista, Michael Anthony. Revenge Most Queer: Hamlet and Vengeance. Diss. University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017. 20-100
Shakespeare, William. Tragedy of Hamlet, the. Boston: Ginn & Company, 1909. 30-150
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