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Explore Shakespeares presentation of the theme of duty in Hamlet. In the course of your writing, show how your ideas have been influenced by your reading of the The Revengers Tragedy.

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked Explore Shakespeare?s presentation of the theme of duty in ?Hamlet?. In the course of your writing, show how your ideas have been influenced by your reading of the ?The revenger?s Tragedy?. ?Hamlet? was written at a time of social divide as the instinctual urge to seek revenge for oneself or others, be it for filial duty or to defend ones honour. Duty in ?Hamlet? is strongly linked to revenge. However the renaissance that was taking place in Elizabethan England produced philosophers who disagreed with the desire for revenge, Bacon says that ?is a wild justice? and ?in passing it over, he is superior . This contradiction of society in terms of revenge and duty is seen in ?Hamlet? as Shakespeare presents duty as a very varied experience and revenge to be a destructive force. The idea of revenge is also explored in ?The Revenger?s Tragedy?, however it is a far more simple affair compared to Hamlet?s experience of it throughout the play. Vindice does not appear to face the emotional turmoil of revenge: his desire for revenge is disguised as duty. Shakespeare presents the theme of duty in ?Hamlet? through his use of characters and their friendship with Hamlet. Horatio is a character who is dutiful towards Hamlet in the fact that he supports Hamlet?s ideas and method on how to uncover Claudius? guilt. ...read more.

Middle

When Hamlet is presented with an opportunity to kill Claudius his does not kill him as he is praying and it would be ?base and silly, not revenge?, his decision to spare Claudius at this moment highlights Hamlet?s conscience as he believes Claudius is being purged of sin, so Hamlet wishes to kill him when he is ?drunk? or in his rage? so he will be damned. Hamlet is also concerned for himself as it would be damning on his soul to kill a man who is ?praying?, it would also be suspicious to other characters that the king died whilst on his knees praying privately. This concern shows a duty to himself. Hamlet?s delay is justified when compared to ?The Revenger?s Tragedy??s Vindice who gains revenge on the duke quickly. His revenge appears more like a murder to the audience ? he brags ?tis I Vindice, tis I!!?,compared to Hamlet?s eventual justice which is presented as an inevitable and just action. The righteousness of Claudius? death is due to its build up. Its climax is orchestrated by Claudius himself which creates a sense of conclusion and purging of corruption. It also provides Hamlet with a freed soul as his is not murdering Claudius but is simply reacting to his situation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Revenge is used by Shakespeare to present character?s sense of duty in ?Hamlet? as it is a continuing theme that is carried out by many characters. One similar trait of the revenging characters is that they all seek to avenge their father?s be it Hamlet, Laertes or Fortinbras. However Hamlet is the only character who delays. This is because of Hamlets awareness of his soul and wish to not emulate the corruption he want to destroy. Throughout the play Hamlet has been responsible for at least three rash deaths however neither of these are Claudius. Claudius is the only character Hamlet is cautious of killing despite the fact Claudius is the only person Hamlet is ordered to kill and wants to. This could be for several reasons, one being that Claudius is a father figure towards Hamlet and it is against Hamlet?s honour and thy Bible to ?kill thy father?. Another cause for Hamlet?s delay could be that Claudius represents Hamlet?s base desires as Claudius has the crown, power and his mother which many critics speculate that Hamlet has an ?Oedipus complex? which means Hamlet has sexual desires for his mother. These base desires could be preventing Hamlet and his duty from killing Claudius as that would represent killing his own desires. ...read more.

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