The Cycle of Evil in Shakespeare's Hamlet

The Cycle of Evil in Shakespeare's Hamlet

Length: 642 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
 

The Cycle of Evil in Hamlet           

In the play Hamlet, William Shakespeare illustrates how revenge can ravage one’s mind.  Revenge, put in simple terms, is an act of inflicting harm or injury in return for a wrong. [Obvious?] Both Hamlet and Laertes vowed to seek revenge for the murders of their fathers.  In doing so, they weren’t making right what was once wrong, but instead they were returning the same evil that had been inflicted upon them.  Revenge isn’t good or sweet when it is in fact evil continuing to repeat itself.

 

     William Shakespeare helps bring this point to the forefront by using the Ghost of King Hamlet as a foil to Hamlet. The Ghost is used to give Hamlet someone to talk to in order to understand him more.  These two characters both express their revulsion of Gertrude’s marriage to Claudius.  [You need to cite from the text here, particularly for the Ghost.] Also, both King Hamlet and Hamlet were brought to their deaths at the hands of poison, although King Hamlet had the poison poured in his ear by Claudius while sleeping.  On the other hand, Hamlet was poisoned with the point of Laertes’s rapier during their duel.

 

     The Ghost brings about two different perspectives of Hamlet.  First, Hamlet can be viewed as a loyal son.  Hamlet is prepared to avenge his father’s murder before the identity of the murderer was made.  [He is?] After the Ghost reveals Claudius as his murderer, he demands that Hamlet does not punish Gertrude in seeking revenge against Claudius.  Hamlet doesn’t get revenge against Claudius until his mother dies after drinking the poison in the cup that was originally intended for Hamlet to drink. [Ergo, does he get revenge for his father, or for his mother?]  On the other hand, Hamlet doesn’t necessarily fulfill his father’s wishes.  Although unintended, Hamlet “punishes” Gertrude by slaying Polonius before her eyes.  Thus evil deeds were to continue to repeat themselves. [I don't see the repetition here.Which "evil deeds" are you referring to?]

     Another character used as a foil to Hamlet was Laertes.  Both Hamlet and Laertes had endured the lose [loss] of their fathers at the hands of a murderer.  Both character[s] sought revenge for these murders.  Laertes immediately wanted to kill Hamlet for his crime, expressing how he would cut his throat in the church.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Cycle of Evil in Shakespeare's Hamlet." 123HelpMe.com. 30 Mar 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=5413>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Universal Acceptance of Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay

- Universal Acceptance of Hamlet by William Shakespeare The tragedy and situation in the play ‘Hamlet’ has been commented on as ‘universal.’ Audiences of many different cultures can enjoy ‘Hamlet’ even though it is set in an alien culture to them. The reasons for this are that many people can relate to the play, they feel that they are living though a profound experience, even if nothing in the plot of Hamlet has ever happened to them. The experience of ‘Hamlet’ is not restricted to the plot and its characters....   [tags: Hamlet William Shakespeare Essays]

Research Papers
2005 words (5.7 pages)

Internal and External Conflict in Hamlet Essay

- In the drama script ‘Hamlet’, written by William Shakespeare, conflict, both internal and external, was important to the text in a variety of ways. Internal conflict enabled the character development of Hamlet to take place, showing his nature rich in procrastination as he developed from a cowardly griever to a confident man no longer fearful of the unknown. This character development illustrates the main themes of revenge, good vs. evil, and more. Conflict in this text provides the main protagonist (Hamlet) with various catalysts that move the plot along and allow peace to be restored, completing the cycle of the narrative structure....   [tags: Shakespeare, Literary Criticism]

Research Papers
523 words (1.5 pages)

Human Nature in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay

- Human Nature in Hamlet by William Shakespeare In order to rot, one must first be fresh. In order for there to be evil, there must first be good. In order to die, one must first be born. Thus, the natural state of mankind revolves, as does a garden. William Shakespeare makes this point abundantly clear in his play Hamlet. Using a minor character, Marcellus, Shakespeare proclaims, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." Applying this quote to human nature and the continued illusion to a garden, one could resolve that the "rotten" state of Denmark is comparable to the cyclical characteristics of man and nature....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
371 words (1.1 pages)

Essay on The Laramie Project and Shakespeare

- Artistic creations can be a means for the exploration of human attitudes, feelings and behaviors. The performing arts are an example of an artistic media that can be utilized in this way. For example, the use of theatre and film can be applied as way to explore some of the human attitudes, feelings and behaviors that are related to topics such as tolerance, acceptance, anger, hatred and also forgiveness. Two such performing arts examples are The Laramie Project and Shakespeare as presented in the Secured Housing Unit (SHU) at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility (WVCF), a super-maximum security prison in the state of Indiana....   [tags: Art, Performances, Attitudes, Feelings, Behaviors]

Research Papers
1107 words (3.2 pages)

Claudius as Evil in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay

- Claudius as Evil in Hamlet by William Shakespeare The abstract concept of evil has vastly transformed throughout human history, ranging for the supernatural and mystical to the very humans amongst whom we live. In modern times, evil has become an entirely ambiguous term. Who is evil. What is evil. Men like Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein have been garnered with the term ‘evil’ for their atrocities against fellow humans. Now it seems evil has a solely human significance; when a person violates the individual rights of others on a massive scale, he/she is evil....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Research Papers
992 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Hamlet's Transformation from Good to Evil in Shakespeare's Hamlet

- Hamlet's Transformation from Good to Evil in Shakespeare's Hamlet Hamlet’s transforms from good to evil in the play Hamlet by Shakespeare. Hamlet experiences a lot of pain and becomes very anger because of his father’s death, his mother’s bad remarriage, and the loss of his only love, Ophelia. The losses that Hamlet has to deal with are the anger and lack of forgiveness build in himself. This allows Hamlet’s true thoughts and character to be revealed through his soliloquies. First, Hamlet reveals his wishes that he could just melt away and be gone; because if he dies, he would be free from the world....   [tags: Shakespeare Tragedy of Hamlet]

Research Papers
835 words (2.4 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Hamlet - Good Or Evil? Essay examples

- Shakespeare’s Hamlet is known to be as one of his most famous plays, due to the complexity of the main protagonist Hamlet himself, by showcasing him to the audience in two different lights. As the brightest and most sensitive character throughout the play he is also seen as the most callous and vicious. By giving Hamlet intentions that can be viewed as both good and evil, Shakespeare creates a character that is depicted as psychotic and rational at the same time. Hamlet is perceived as insane throughout the play when he decides to murder Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, even though it is considered against his normal and moral actions....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Research Papers
1849 words (5.3 pages)

Gertrude: The Root of Evil in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- In Hamlet, a play by William Shakespeare, the driving forces seem, at first glance, to be greed and revenge. But if one delves more deeply, one will find motives other than these.  If one asks oneself what is the main reason for revenge in the play they will find that there is a woman at the core of it. In the beginning of the play the audience learns that the king has died and later discovers that it was his brother Claudius who killed him. Besides his hunger for the crown, what else might have motivated him to kill his brother....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]

Research Papers
607 words (1.7 pages)

Hamlet's Transformation from Good to Evil in the Play Hamlet by William Shakespeare

- Hamlet's Transformation from Good to Evil in the Play Hamlet by William Shakespeare Hamlet’s Transformation from Good to Evil In the play Hamlet by Shakespeare, Hamlet endures exorbitant amount of pain and anger because of his father’s death, his mothers hasty remarriage, and the loss of his only love, Ophelia. The losses that Hamlet has to deal with, the anger and lack of forgiveness that he allows to build within himself, allows Hamlet’s true thoughts and character to be revealed through his soliloquies, which are reviewed and discussed throughout this essay....   [tags: Hamlet William Shakespeare Plays Essays]

Research Papers
930 words (2.7 pages)

William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- One of the most unique things about the play Hamlet (with Hamlet playing the main character) is the way relationships between the main and lesser characters have not changed from Shakespeare's time period in which he wrote this play to the modern dilemmas of today. The character Hamlet relates through individualism of self to others in the play and Shakespeare uses this confusion of self and nature thus assuring many types of readers who can relate to his Hamlet characterization. Hamlet portrays himself with all his human flaws, but it is this humanity that makes him distinctive from everyone else in the story....   [tags: Hamlet Shakespeare]

Free Essays
1879 words (5.4 pages)

Related Searches

  On the other hand, Hamlet was more passive in his revenge.  Instead of seeking out Claudius to kill him, Hamlet instead knelt down in prayer. [A lot more could be said about Hamlet's passivity in seeking revenge, a whole lot more.]

 

     In looking at Laertes and Hamlet, one would get the sense that their “friendly” duel  is their evil rage coming to the forefront.  Both men had been seeking revenge for their father’s murders.  Hamlet tried to apologize to Laertes for murdering Polonius.  Laertes declined his apology for the single fact that he didn’t want his reputation tarnished for failing to seek revenge for his father’s murder.  In turn, Hamlet sought revenge of his father’s murder, but it wasn’t his reputation he would tarnish, it was “punishing” Gertrude which made completing his revenge timely.  ["timely"?] Only after Gertrude’s death did Hamlet complete his revenge on Claudius.  The evil trend continued again, ending with the deaths of Hamlet, Laertes, Claudius, and Gertrude. [The discussion of the foils doesn't appear to relate to your thesis; instead, you appear to just be using the plot sequence to support your thesis.]

 

     In seeking revenge, one is in fact continuing an ongoing trend of evil.  William  Shakespeare displayed how revenge can be fatal for those who seek it.  Hamlet and Laertes clearly fell victim to the evils of revenge.  How can one make right what was once wrong when they continue to do wrong?

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com