Revenge In Hamlet Essay

721 words - 3 pages

Justin WickettEnglish 10224/05/2004Revenge in HamletThroughout the play Hamlet, the most intriguing theme is the belief of revenge. In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, he portrayed a Jewish character throughout the play as someone who is bloodthirsty and can only think of gaining revenge on those who have wronged him. In Hamlet, Hamlet, a Christian, is just as blood thirsty about seeking revenge as Shylock the Jew is in The Merchant of Venice. The part of the play that I found the most intriguing was when Hamlet's father's ghost appeared to him and told Hamlet that he must seek revenge upon his uncle so that he could exit limbo and rise to heaven. Hamlet, a Christian, takes what his father has told him very seriously and does not think of the consequences for himself. Although is said in the Bible, "But if you do not forgive men of their sins, your Father ...view middle of the document...

Although Christianity does not support, it Hamlet is brainwashed by his father into believing in the idea of retributive justice, the notion that sin must be returned with punishment. Since Claudius has committed a sin by poisoning Hamlet's father, he believes that it is his duty to punish Claudius for committing the sin, instead of forgiving him and letting God do the dirty work. Although by killing Claudius, Hamlet will be happy that he has upheld his father's honor and avenged his death by sending Claudius to hell and his father to heaven, Hamlet, in the end, will also be sent to hell with Claudius because of his sins.Another example of a Christian wishing for revenge in the play Hamlet is when Laertes finds out who killed his father. Although Leartes spends much less time talking about revenge than Hamlet does, they both desire for justice. Unlike Hamlet, Laertes is aware that seeking revenge will mean putting his soul into danger. When he says, "I dare damnation. To this point I stand, That both the worlds I give to negligence, let come what comes, only I'll be revenged most thoroughly for my father" (IV.v.131-133), Laertes is telling Claudius that he is willing that his soul become damned to hell as long as he can seek revenge upon Hamlet for killing his father. Hamlet, on the other hand, simply believes that he will be able to seek revenge on Claudius and still have a clean slate. When Claudius says to Laertes that "Revenge should have no bounds" (IV.vii.126) and then form a complex plan to kill Hamlet, the reader becomes aware that Laertes is very serious about revenge and will take action very soon, unlike Hamlet who is not really aware of the consequences, but also wishes to take revenge. Because he is childish and unintelligent, Hamlet is unaware of what his father is really asking him to do, whereas Laertes represents a more sophisticated example of Hamlet who knows the final consequences, yet is still willing to take revenge.

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