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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.

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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.

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