Essay on Nemesis in Hamlet

Essay on Nemesis in Hamlet

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Nemesis in Hamlet


Nemesis is defined as being a deserved fate; just punishment for wrong-doing. Nemesis plays a tremendous role in Hamlet. The majority of characters in the tragedy of Hamlet deserved what happened to them in the end. Nemesis and its role in Hamlet create ironic endings for the characters of this tragedy.

The whole reason for the role of Nemesis to begin in this tragedy is due to King Claudius evil deed of killing King Hamlet. King Claudius begins to feel the weight of is wrong-doing when Polonius refers to Hamlet as the devil. Claudius says to himself, "O, `tis too true! How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience." (3,1,56-58) This comment really strikes the conscience of Claudius and he feels the burden of his crime. You would feel some sympathy for Claudius, if it wasn't for his actions further along in the story. For all the plotting and treachery inflicted by Claudius throughout the story in the end he got what he deserved. The final lines spoken by Hamlet, "Here, thou incestuous, (murd'rous) damned Dane, I Drink off this potion. Is they union here? Follow my mother." (5,2,356-58), sums up perfectly the status of Claudius. Zaerter speaks of the irony of his death, when he states, "He is justly served. It is a poison tempered by himself." (5,2,359-60). It is funny in a sense that Claudius is killed before Hamlet, even though Hamlet was poisoned first.

Many of the characters in Hamlet blindly sealed their fates by so willingly following others around them. A good example of this is Ophelia. I believe Ophelia's death was deserved, because of her blind obedience to her father. She wasn't able to see through Hamlet's antic disposition. If Ophelia wasn't so feeble minded sh...


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...eople in that moment would have thought that something was wrong with the drink. Especially in light of all the events that took place.

Nemesis is brought out by the weakness of our conscience. This is best spoken by Hamlet, "Thus conscience does make cowards (of us all.)"(3,1,91) If life were to revolve around the ruling Nemesis, our world would be a much better place to live. If people were to commit inhumanly acts they should be punished justly. If people were to murder or injure someone their nemesis would be to have the same done to them. Nemesis is a great way to end the troubles of a society.

Works Cited and Consulted:

Berman, Allison. "We Only Find Ourselves." Hamlet reaction papers. Wynnewood: FCS, 2000.

Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet." From The Norton Shakespeare, edited by Greenblatt, Stephen. New York: Norton & Company, 1997.

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