preview

Revenge in William Shakespeare´s Hamlet

analytical Essay
1049 words
1049 words
bookmark

Most of the plays of Shakespeare are said to be written based on the desires of his contemporary audience, especially the revenge tragedies. Revenge creates anger and compels a man to take actions without considering any logic. In historical revenge plays, revenge does not only mean punishing the person(s) liable for a past incident, but it is also aimed to capture the throne. From this point of view, Hamlet is not completely a revenge tragedy. The play is not only about Hamlet’s vengeance. Hamlet, Laertes and young Fortinbras as the eldest sons of their respective families individually have objectives to avenge the murders of their fathers. According the course of the play, both Hamlet and Laertes are able to kill the assassins of their fathers but they fail to be the king of Denmark. Rather they are killed by each other in a swordfight. Only Fortinbras manages to capture the power of Denmark ultimately (though he does not have to kill Claudius).
So the success of revenge depends on the fact that person taking revenge needs to survive to enjoy the results of his actions. The main character Hamlet fails to do that. The ghost of old Hamlet asks him to take revenge of his (old Hamlet) death and to leave Gertrude’s fortune on heaven’s hand. Hamlet is not successful over performing all of these orders properly; rather his speculative attitude causes three deaths in the play that seem to be needless for him.
Moreover, generally in a revenge tragedy, the process of vengeance begins almost immediately after the event responsible for it. But the main character Hamlet takes a long time to take an action after meeting the ghost of old Hamlet. He procrastinates the retaliation process till the end of the play despite being ordered by the g...

... middle of paper ...

...rsed hearts,
Finally Hamlet killing Claudius cannot avenge the old Hamlet convincingly because Hamlet also dies right after Claudius’ death. Previously the ghost orders Hamlet not to act insane and to find ways to kill Claudius. But Hamlet decides to pretend to be mad and simultaneously procrastinates to implement the order. He is killed by Laertes by a poisoned sword. Claudius’ murder in the last scene happens just by chance, since the swordfight is arranged instantly by the king and till that time Hamlet is not even able to find a way to kill Claudius. Hamlet confesses,
The insanity or pretended insanity of Hamlet causes him to struggle to kill Claudius, which may take longer period of time if Claudius would not arrange the swordfight himself. He may not avenge his father’s death completely, but he sacrifices his life to save Denmark and its people from rotting.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that in a revenge tragedy, the process of vengeance begins almost immediately after the event responsible for it. hamlet procrastinates the retaliation process until the end of the play despite being ordered to kill claudius.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare's plays are written based on the desires of his contemporary audience, especially the revenge tragedies.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's procrastination of revenge is to prove the authenticity of the ghost, which makes him confused about his prospective actions about the revenge.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's procrastination is linked with the theme of the play itself.
Get Access