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How Does Hamlet Deal With the Revengers RôLe?

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How does Hamlet deal with the revengers r�le? Revenge is defined as "retaliation for an offence or injury"; Hamlet has two main reasons for needing revenge, political and moral. Politically he has to kill Claudius for the offence of denying Hamlet, the heir to the Danish kingdom, his usurped crown. He also has a moral reason, as the "son of a dear father murdered"(II. ii. 581); he has a duty to extract revenge for the injury; and filially to protect his mother by ridding her of an incestuous and immoral marriage to a murderer. He has no doubt even to himself that he does have this dutiful role to perform," I know my course" (II.ii.596). To seek this revenge he would have to kill Claudius and his mother, for they are both guilty of having impure souls. But one of the very first internal conflicts Hamlet has is when the Ghost tells him "nor let thy soul contrive Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven..." (I. iv. 85). This leaves him in great turmoil, as he can justify to himself the killing of Claudius, but not letting his mother live. He is so overcome with a sense of purity and morality, especially with concern to women, it does not seem right to him that something so tainted should be allowed to carry on in the world. ...read more.


And all for nothing" He feels miserable at his deficit, he is forced to compare himself and he comes of he worse. " What would he do had he the motive and the cue for passion that I have? ...Make mad the guilty and appal the free". He again feels this lack of justified fervour when young Fortinbras goes to battle to fight and possibly to die for a land that is acknowledged to be not worth the sacrifice "we go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name" (IV. iv. 18). This is again someone showing emotion and action when there is not as much reason to do so as there is for Hamlet. When he is alone he sees what Fortinbras has done as being honourable and a rebuke of his own inaction, whereas before when talking to Fortinbras' captain, he had been cynical as to the actions they were carrying out. He analyses himself as "thinking too precisely on th'event - A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom and ever three parts coward" (IV. iv. 41). He sees his need to think things through before acting as a deplorable weakness. Even he can see hat he is being weak minded and indecisive. ...read more.


To compensate for this they resolve the complex by over identifying with their fathers and adopting many of their fathers' attitudes. This could be used to explain Hamlet's impediment and self-frustration towards his revenge. He tries to carry out the task, but he is held back in some way, because he cannot kill a person who he recognises as so like himself in what he wants to be like and wishes he could do. His desires towards his mother have been so long repressed that they are now repulsive to him, but yet her remarrying brings those thoughts to his attention. He sees someone taking the place of his father in her affections, the place that he has long coveted. The nature of this usurper, a relative, makes the link between the two even more incestuous in Hamlet's mind and even more connected towards him. This, coupled with the fact that Claudius is able to gain his mother's affection by killing old Hamlet, ridding him, once again something that Hamlet has long wanted to do but repressed from himself, hinders Hamlet greatly from carrying out his revenge. When Hamlet discovers the identity of his father's murderer his first instant reply is "O my prophetic soul! My uncle?" (I. v. 40). This does imply that unconsciously the idea had been in his mind and had suddenly been brought back to his awareness. ...read more.

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