Hamlet - Revenge A Chain Reaction

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Hamlet Revenge: A Chain Reaction

In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the theme of revenge is

repeated numerous times throughout the play and involves a great deal of

characters. Of these characters, eight are dead by the end of the play by

result of murder which was initiated through revenge. Shakespeare uses the

revenge theme to create conflict among many characters.

Shakespeare uses the revenge theme to create conflict between Hamlet and

Claudius. In Act I, scene 5, Hamlet is visited by the ghost who was his

father. The ghost makes Hamlet aware of his murderous death when he tells

Hamlet of how Claudius had killed him. The ghost says this to Hamlet

regarding Claudius, "Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder." This is

where Hamlet is first inrtoduced to the revenge plot between himself and

Claudius. Hamlet wants to insure that the ghost really was his dead father

before he kills Claudius. To do this Hamlet has people act out the death of

his father in front of Claudius and declares him guilty by his reaction to

the play. " O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand pound."

Hamlet declares Claudius' guilt to Horatio and now realizes that he must

continue on with his revenge plot. The conflict between Hamlet and Claudius

is delayed by Hamlet but does eventually occur in the last scene. Hamlet's

mother has just died, Hamlet has been sliced by Laertes' poison sword, and

Hamlet has just struck Laertes with a fatal blow when Laertes says that this

was all brought on by Claudius. Hamlet, now realizing that there is no more

time for him to delay his revenge, stabs Claudus and kills him. Revenge was

the motive for the conflict between Hamlet and Claudius.

Shakespeare uses the revenge plot to create conflict between Laertes and

Hamlet by having Laertes avenge his father's and sister's death which Hamlet

is responsible for. After learning of his fathers unnatural death, Hamlet

decides that he can no longer trust anyone, except for Horatio. While acting

out his madness, he visited Ophelia and cut off his ties with her because of

his distrust for everyone. In Act III, when Hamlet talks with his mother, he

notices that he is being spied upon. Thinking that it is the king, Hamlet

mistakingly kills Polonius who was hiding behind a big rug, which for some

medeval reason, was hung on the wall. It is believed Ophelia herself went mad

because of Hamlet's rude and violent treatment of her and also because Hamlet

killed her father. In Act IV Ophelia's madness drives her to walk into the
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