• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Revenge is an act of vindictiveness that causes one to act unconsciously through rage. The tragedy of Hamlet is consummated by the ever-present theme of revenge.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Revenge is an act of vindictiveness that causes one to act unconsciously through rage. The tragedy of Hamlet is consummated by the ever-present theme of revenge. It is this very theme that sets the mood at the beginning of the play and leads to the pyrrhic victory at the end. Shakespeare uses three (3) significant characters - Fortinbras, Prince of Norway; Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; and Laertes, son of Polonius - to depict this theme of revenge. It is through these three characters and their thirst to avenge their fathers' deaths (all of whom have been murdered), that the tragedy in the play is created. Their emotive actions lead to the demise of two and the rise to power of one. ...read more.

Middle

It is because of this that Hamlet, of the three sons, is the most tainted by this 'infectious disease'1 (that of revenge). Hamlet, at the beginning of the play, is a noble-minded, innocent character. However, this shift of darkness becomes evident when he becomes aware that his uncle murdered his beloved father. "O, what a noble mind is here o'er-thrown! The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword, Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state, the glass of fashion and the mould of form, Th' observ'd of all observers" (III. I. 153-157). Hamlet is the most difficult of the three sons to be influenced to act vindictively. It is his father's ghost that tells him "to revenge his foul and most unnatural murder" (I. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Shakespeare, in Hamlet, suggest that revenge is an enervating impetus and the 'pursuit of it can infect the most noble of all souls'3. Through the play, he forces us to examine our own opinions of revenge and its legal and moral views in each society and era. It can be seen where the theme revenge in Shakespeare's Hamlet sets a different and more enigmatic view to the play than that of other tragedies. The play is more ambitious than most revenge tragedies in its exploration of revenge as a process and its recognition that such behavior is neither normal nor easy, particularly for a human being who is capable of 'thought' and 'conscience'. 4 1 Web Trends essay.studyarea.com. NetIQ. 2002. 2 'Hamlet'. AntiEssays antiessays.bigwonk.com. 2002. 3 Web Trends essay.studyarea.com. NetIQ. 2002. 4 Hamlet. Heineamnn Advanced Shakespeare. 2000. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Hamlet - It's hard to define what revenge actually is.

    3 star(s)

    Gertrude cares about Hamlet though. In Act 3, Scene 1, she tells Ophelia that she wants her to make Hamlet happy 'And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish that your good beauties be the happy cause of Hamlets wildness'.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Explore how Shakespeare examines the theme of revenge in Hamlet.

    3 star(s)

    Hamlets morals are challenged. Elizabethans generally firmly believed in the concepts of 'heaven' and 'hell', dying without forgiveness from God would mean eternity in perdition like the limbo in which Old Hamlet is in, in Hamlet 'When I to my sulph'rous and tormented flames Must render up myself'.

  1. To what extent is 'Hamlet' a revenge tragedy? In what ways does it help ...

    Claudius' words flow smoothly, but when listened to closely, it seems as if he has no respect for Gertrude. He refers to her as the "jointress" and "our queen" which makes it seem as though he considers Gertrude to be his property.

  2. Explore how Shakespeare examines the theme of revenge in Hamlet.

    have sent him to hell and gives them an insight into the fact that Shakespeare is going to make it so Hamlet never gets his revenge. This scene is dramatic from the start because of its setting. Hamlet would have been performed in an extremely religious era so just seeing

  1. Compare and contrast the theme of 'revenge' and its after-effect in Isabel Allende's 'House ...

    There is an obvious difference in the acts of Paulina and Esteban Garcia but the thing to be noted here is the theme of justice. Garcia's concept of justice was a true revenge or an eye for an eye whereas; Paulina's concept of justice was the fulfilment of her desire, her desire of confession of Dr.

  2. Hamlet Essay DRAFT

    However we find out as the play goes on that this is not the case. Hamlet is too much of a thinker, but rarely carries out his actions. Another man may have gone up to Claudius and killed him at that moment, but hamlet's hesitancy causes all the death and suffering that carries on throughout the play.

  1. Hamlet - themes and speeches in Act lll

    One of the most famous and successful film adaptations of Hamlet is that of Kenneth Branagh, whose portrayal of Hamlet shows ?a naturally positive and sweet-natured fellow who feigns madness, rather than a tormented soul who is already half loony before he sees the ghost of his murdered father.? It

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    It is one of the symptoms in this species of insanity, as we are assured by physicians. I have myself known one instance in the case of a young Quaker girl, whose character resembled that of Ophelia, and whose malady arose from a similar cause.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work