Hamlet theme essay on revenge
Throughout history, revenge has stood out as a primal human instinct that has fueled terrible deeds.
Revenge in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - Words | Bartleby
Though, it often leads one to perform criminal acts, Howard argues that it is a necessary component in the functioning of society. He points out that revenge is a threat that acts as a disincentive to undeserved violence. Revenge is an emotion that has not only consumed many, it has been simplified that in all fairness one turn deserves another.
However, Shakespeare's Hamlet questions the effectiveness of revenge as a deterrent, as it is an emotion that consumes Hamlet, Fortinbras and Laertes and leads to the deaths of all, but one of them. Claudius did not conceive that Hamlet would at some point want to exert revenge for his father's demise. Interestingly, this fact did not deter him from later murdering King Hamlet and marrying his wife.
Hamlet, though determined, is unable to avenge his father's death and it is this delay that drives the plot forward and leads to the deaths of Ophelia, Rosencratz, Polonius, Gertrude, Laertes and Guildenstern. Fortinbras is consumed by revenge and journeys for several days in order to exert his vengeance for his father's murder and he succeeds in triumphing Denmark.
As well, Laertes connives to kill Hamlet in order to avenge the death of Polonius, his father. William Shakespeare relies on the reaction of Hamlet, Fortinbras and Laertes to investigate the theme of revenge in Hamlet.
The death of Hamlet's father and his reaction thereafter epitomizes the theme of revenge. Hamlet does not have a desire to exert vengeance on Claudius, and Shakespeare creates a situation that obligates Hamlet to carry out the revenge for his father.
Essay: Hamlet (Revenge)
He, though, succeeds in exposing the crime, Hamlet does not find a way to try Claudius in the court. On the other hand, Laertes also seeks revenge from Hamlet for his father murder and is willing to kill Hamlet even in the Holy place, church. These two thematic stands of revenge run parallel until the dual and their deaths. Although not a dominant theme, religion still has its significant impact on the roles and acts of Hamlet and other characters. Besides some religions markers, there are some dominant religious opinions and thoughts. As a suicide, is a sin and will take you to hell.
He also does not kill Claudius during prayers because he would go to heaven and he does not want to grant him this opportunity. Subversion and turns and twists in relationships is another theme of Hamlet.
Gertrude is a cousin of Claudius and must not marry him on legal or religious terms. However, they both marry subverting their relationship. This subversion in the sacred relations against the Protestantism is another great theme of Hamlet. One of the most controversial and most striking themes of Hamlet is his delay. While trying to establish the crime, Hamlet delays his revenge.
In the entire play, he has numerous chances to kill Claudius. He waits until he confirms the crime of Claudius by staging the play. Once he also finds Claudius praying, and has a perfect opportunity to kill him. The delay also drives him mad and leading to severe depression until he finally acts up it. The delay indirectly cost his own life. However, the last conversation with Horatio to leave and show the justification of his cause to the world makes it clear that the intent of delaying was to seek justification.
Although it is not that significant, honor is another theme that various characters depict through their actions and dialogues.
However, he always thinks that his honor is at stake if his actions have no justification. On the other hand, Laertes thinks that he will lose his honor if he does not exact revenge of his slain father who Hamlet mistakenly kills. In other words, the true honor for both lies in seeking revenge for their fathers though in a different way.
Therefore, honor is one of the notable themes of Hamlet.