Hamlet, By William Shakespeare Essays

Hamlet, By William Shakespeare Essays

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William Shakespeare, author of Hamlet and many other famous plays, is the most famous English poet, playwright, and actor. His most talked about play, Hamlet, is a revenge tragedy driven by a protagonist unable to commit to the act of revenge. In the story, it is Hamlet’s inability to avenge the murder of his father that drives the plot forward and the deaths of Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia, Gertrude, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern all result from Hamlet’s delay. (Jamieson) The play is not ultimately concerning Hamlet’s successful vengeance for his father’s murder; instead, most of the play is concerned with Hamlet’s inner struggle to take action. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet demonstrates the main theme of revenge which is portrayed throughout the play with, soliloquies, the use of irony, and symbolism.

Shakespeare, with his use of soliloquies, makes his characters come to life and lets the audience know what is going on. He uses soliloquies to portray the characters’ personality and to allow the reader to see the fundamental feelings and meanings behind the characters’ words. In the following soliloquy, Hamlet has seen his father’s ghost for the first time and is told that his murderer is no other than his very own brother. “So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word: It is ‘Adieu, adieu! Remember me.’ I have sworn’t” (I.v.110-113). Here, Hamlet has taken his father’s words as a cue to action. When Hamlet says “Now to my word… I have sworn’t it,” he lets the audience know that he will avenge his father’s death by killing King Claudius.

Throughout the play, Hamlet gets several opportunities to kill King Claudius, but he does not. In the following soliloquy, once again, spoken by Hamlet, he gets yet another chance to kill his Uncle; ...


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...nt…” (I.v.61-64). When Claudius pours the poison into Hamlet’s ear and murders him, it demonstrates how much the need for power can corrupt someone. In this case, the need for power motivated Claudius to poison his own brother. Later, when Laertes and Claudius are planning to kill Hamlet for revenge, they also decide to use poison. When the poison actually comes into play, it ends up killing Queen Gertrude (thus betrayal), and eventually leads to the death of Laertes, King Claudius and Hamlet. (St. Rosemary Education Institution)

Shakespeare portrays the theme of revenge throughout the play using soliloquies, irony, and symbolism. He creates symbolism to produce emotions in the audience. Irony and soliloquies are used to alert the audience about themes in the play. William Shakespeare portrays these three elements in a unique way, showing us the theme of revenge.

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