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The Revenge In The Hamlet Plays English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1753 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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As I think back to my childhood, I always had fights and arguments with my older brother, as he would do something to get me in trouble with my parents, I always felt like I should get him back for it nonetheless take revenge for what he did. Revenge to people is the desire to get back at the person who caused the action to be acted upon. It consumes the mind and body of the person who will take upon the action of revenge towards another. Through out Hamlet it is evident that the play is mainly based on revenge and how certain characters seem to be in the downfall of revenge. It shows the readers that not only hamlet is driven to avenge his father but also other characters as well. The characters emotion affects them from taking effective revenge upon whom they wish to avenge. The characters also show differences in taking revenge and how they act upon the situation. Hamlet is nonetheless a play about revenge that follows through out not only Hamlet himself but other characters as well that is affected by Hamlet and King Claudius.

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Firstly, prince Hamlet who is fatherless suffers great depression after his father’s death. As he is gloomier, he also battles the fact between mortality and immortality. Hamlet always ponders on the idea of suicide due to his father’s death; he believes he has no reason to live anymore. He wears black to show that life no longer holds a meaning and the only thing is to kill himself. This is all caused by the death of his father and the marriage of his mother Gertrude and his uncle Claudius, now the king. The marriage adds upon prince Hamlets depression because he is disgusted by the fact that it is even occurring. Hamlet not only disgusted but also betrayed by his mother upon her act to marry his uncle so right away causes their relationship to fall. Hamlet believes that his mother should stay faithful to his father and not seek a relationship after years of spending her life with Hamlets father. He is disgusted and betrayed by the fact that she moved on so quickly into the clutches of his uncle Claudius. Hamlets madness starts to erupt when he discovers the ghost of his father, the late king of Denmark who tells him that he has been murdered by his uncle Claudius, the new king. As Hamlet is told to avenge his father by the ghost, his attitude towards King Claudius takes upon drastic changes that create the tragic plot. Hamlet whose sole mission is to take revenge upon King Claudius has nothing but that idea in his mind. He refuses to mix in with the family and accept his uncle as his new father and king of Denmark. This quote proves how he feels “O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd 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.” (Act I, Scene 5, lines 107-111). This quote bases the fact that Hamlet puts nothing but revenge in his mind after he finds out his uncle is the murderer of his father and he puts nothing on his mind but the revenge for him. Hamlet felt as if he had to fulfill the ghosts’ wishes as he is told to do so. He had the chance to take revenge upon Claudius while he was praying but Hamlets religion came into play as he didn’t want Claudius to go to heaven and his father is in hell. Hamlet enraged with madness and betrayal is now out for his uncle who took his fathers life wanting to be king and also married Gertrude.

As Hamlet is consumed by the drive to take revenge on his uncle Claudius, Prince Fortinbras of Norway, also is driven to take revenge on Denmark. Prince Fortinbras also fatherless similar to Prince Hamlet lost his father to the late king Hamlet prior to his death. King Hamlet and Prince Fortinbras’ father, Old Fortinbras, former King of Norway, made a bet with Old Hamlet and wound up losing his life and some important Norwegian territory in the process. Horatio explains Prince Fortinbras’ anger towards Denmark in this quote “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 resolutes, for food and diet, to some enterprise. That hath a stomach in’t; which is no other- As it doth well appear unto our state- But to recover of us, by strong hand And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands. So by his father lost.” (Act I, scene 1, pg 11). Now Prince Fortinbras enraged with anger towards Denmark proceeds to take back the land lost to Norway and take revenge on Denmark. Prince Fortinbras unlike Prince Hamlet is impatient and acted quickly upon whom he wanted to take revenge against. He brings his whole army against Denmark while King Claudius is in throne and attacks Denmark, a plan later backfired ending up with Prince Fortinbras favoring the Danish. Prince Fortinbras attacks quickly against the opponent; he thought less of his action unlike Prince Hamlet who wasted time planning attacks to take revenge upon Claudius when he had opportunities to kill him. Hamlet delayed his attacks while Prince Fortinbras attacked swiftly and also regained the land that his father lost to the late King Hamlet without violence. Both princes had differences carrying out their action as it also lead to different outcomes.

Throughout the play, Prince Hamlet and Fortinbras are showcased as characters driven by the pursuit of revenge against their will to avenge their fathers. Laertes, son of Polonius also faces the need perform actions of revenge upon Hamlet. Unlike Prince Hamlet and Prince Fortinbras readers are acknowledged of the relationship between Laertes and his father Polonius which is a good one. Laertes acknowledged as a man to his father is sent to France to explore and become wise in his discoveries, this shows that Polonius has faith in his son to become a man and be like his father. Laertes’s desire to take revenge on Hamlet is caused by the death of his father Polonius, where Hamlet mistakenly kills Polonius thinking that he is Claudius. Hamlet’s actions were unintentional towards Polonius but as Laertes finds out the death of his father, he wanted nothing but vengeance. The following quote explains Laertes’ feelings towards his fathers death “How came he 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.” (Act IV, Scene 5, 6). Laertes quickly returns from France and causes a ruckus in the halls of the Danish castle. He goes to King Claudius to find out the murderer of his father. As he is revealed that Hamlet was responsible for his father’s death and also the madness of Ophelia which adds upon to his anger towards Hamlet, Laertes wants to take revenge upon him. Hamlet and Laertes are good friends and now their relationship is at stake. Fueled up by Claudius who instigates Laertes is to fight in a duel against Hamlet in a chance to take revenge; Claudius plotted to kill Hamlet by poisoning the tip of Laertes sword and also a cup of wine for Hamlet if he won the duel. This also shows that Laertes is quick upon his word and attacks quickly. It also shows that he doesn’t think too much of the relationship between him and Hamlet for Polonius is the main reason why this is occurring and Laertes puts his father before his friend even if it meant death.

As we realize how Fortinbras and Laertes act upon revenge, Hamlets actions towards revenge causes different outcomes. Hamlet who waits for guilt in Claudius to attack him and his play within a play gives him the opportunity to find Claudius’s guilt. He chose to wait until God saw no good in Claudius. He wants to take revenge upon Claudius at time where Claudius can go to hell just like his father has gone according to the ghost of the late King Hamlet. As Hamlet waits for the perfect time to kill Claudius, much occur which affects Hamlet negatively. After the death of Polonius, Hamlet is forced to go to England where Claudius plots to kill him and gives orders to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to perform this action. This delays Hamlets revenge because he might lose his life without fulfilling the ghost’s wishes. In his delay to kill Claudius, Ophelia who Hamlet loves truly commits suicide. This affects him because she is the love of his life and it makes him delay his attack as he ponders over her death. As it is evident, Hamlet who unlike Fortinbras and Laertes delays his revenge ends up killing himself in the process of his revenge against Claudius.

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In conclusion, Hamlet is nonetheless a tragedy about revenge, where three sons act upon different ways to avenge their fathers and also honor them. Hamlet who ends up fulfilling the Ghost’s wishes in taking revenge upon Claudius, also unlike Fortinbras loses his life in the process of his pursued action. As Hamlet delayed his attack to take revenge upon Claudius and honor his father’s name, many characters also face death in the last act of the play. As Claudius dies in his plan of backfire, so does Gertrude unintentionally by Claudius. Laertes who was Claudius’s puppet in taking revenge against Hamlet also meets his end in the tragic play as he is also killed by the poisonous tip of the sword which was mistakenly switched. Unlike Hamlet and Laertes, Fortinbras the only survivor in this tragic play ends up claiming the title of King of Denmark by Hamlet before the last seconds of his death. Fortinbras the only successful avenger comes out of this bloody battle and also regains his fathers lost land. These three men have fulfilled there wishes as Hamlet and Laertes risk their lives to achieve what was started, Fortinbras is the King of Denmark and also the survivor of this play about revenge in a whirlpool.

As destinies inter twine with the world’s heartbeat as one soul. Peace no longer carries a duty in the region of Afghanistan. The word peace has been diminished, deteriorated from the minds of the people who have gone through adversity. Not only did they face adversity, they dealt with the governments’ corruption, their schemes to strip of every cent that people owned people that have worked hard for day and night.


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