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

With particular reference to the language of the play, discuss the development of Hamlet's revenge in the first three acts

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Coursework: With particular reference to the language of the play, discuss the development of Hamlet's revenge in the first three acts. Shakespeare's Hamlet belongs to a genre of plays known as Revenge -Tragedies popular in Elizabethan England, it shows how Hamlet's life is transformed when his father is murdered, and in the first three acts the audience sees how his revenge develops towards the three most important people in his life: Gertrude, his mother; Claudius, his step-father and uncle; and Ophelia, the woman he loves. From Hamlet's very first lines it is clear that he dislikes Claudius, and his mother's "o'er hasty marriage" to him. It is also obvious that he is desperately unhappy and angry at how close he is to Claudius now: "A little more than kin and less than kind"; "... I am too much in the sun." This word play showing that he doesn't consider himself Claudius's son. Hamlet has his suspicions about his stepfather but doesn't have any evidence to prove what he suspects; his desperation, frustration and anger are all seen in his first soliloquy: "O that this too too sullied flesh would melt ... married with my uncle, / My father's brother - but no more like my father / Than I to Hercules. ... She married - O most wicked speed! To post / With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!" ...read more.

Middle

A fishmonger in Elizabethan times could have meant pimp, showing that Hamlet thinks that Polonius is using his daughter to gain favour within the court. Hamlet's madness convinces everyone, even Ophelia who cries for him in act 3 sc 1, "O, what a noble mind is here overthrown" and hopes that he returns to normal. Claudius is the most affected by Hamlet's madness and appears to be quite shaken: in the first act he delivers long speeches, but by Act 2 he is reduced to short sentences like "We will try it." In Hamlet's third soliloquy, at the end of the act, Hamlet shows his true feelings behind the veil of madness he has conjured. He is angry with himself that he cannot like Pyrrhus covered in blood "total gules, over-sized with coagulate gore " avenge his father's death, while one of the players can cry over Hecuba's speech, a fictional woman to whom he is not related: Hamlet reproaches himself for his apparent cowardice and lack of action "o what a rogue and peasant slave am I!" He still maintains his hatred towards his uncle: "Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain! He plans to use the "Mouse-Trap" play to test whether the ghost is honest or an evil spirit sent to trap him into eternal damnation "The spirit that I have seen /May be a devil. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dismissing Polonius without much regret " Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell. / I took thee for thy better." Hamlet continues to insult her: " In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, / Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love/ Over the nasty sty. Hamlet is reminded by the Ghost of his duty to his dead father: "Do not forget. This visitation / Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose." Showing that Hamlet has been deflected by his anger at his mother's betrayal from avenging his father. This Act finishes with a renewal of a calmer Hamlet's trust in his mother " Mother, good night indeed." And the promise of a final outcome when his plans and Claudius's plans coincide. "When in one line two crafts directly meet." Hamlet is the most complex of Shakespeare's tragic heroes - there isn't one specific character flaw that leads to the failure of his mission - his tragedy stems from the fact that he cannot act quickly enough to exact his revenge; Hamlet prefers to be a thinker, but is cast in the role of an avenger, his need for absolute proof of Claudius' guilt, his fear of precipitate action gives rise to his need to be absolutely certain of the justice of his actions, and results in him plunging the Danish court into further tragedy and needless deaths. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rob West 10W 08/05/2007 English Miss Kitson Page 1 of 3 ...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)

    If he loved her, then he would, but he just says '(Aside) it is the poisoned cup. It is too late' I think that Shakespeare just used Claudius here to convey information to the audience so in fact he shouldn't have said anything which shows that he is even more heartless than we would originally think.

  2. Scene by Scene - Hamlet.

    Still, it's grand being part of things. One can find similar ideas in Montaigne, Proverbs 16:9, and the modern Christian saying, "A person proposes, God disposes." Horatio remarks that it'll only be a short time before the king finds out about the execution of the spies. Hamlet says life itself is short ("The interim is mine, / And a man's life's no more than to say 'One'.")

  1. Hamlet is considered to be the greatest play ever written. The themes of the ...

    He is a procrastinator; he tries to delay the killing of Claudius for as long as possible. Hamlet is unstable throughout the play, he has no control of his emotions as he confides to Horatio. When he believes that Ophelia is acting on behalf of Polonius he responds by denying that he ever loved her.

  2. How does Shakespeare use language to describe Claudius as a villain?

    He admits before God that he has committed the "primal eldest curse" by carrying out his "brother's murder". He admits that his contrition is unforgivable since he is unwilling to give up the spoils of his ill-won battles. He begs instead that some divine assistance might bow his knees and soften his heart so that he can ask for forgiveness.

  1. Discuss the atmosphere created at the beginning of the play. What is its relevance ...

    "...the imagery here is that of Eden falling apart. Indeed, his father's ghost makes this same connection, saying that he was stung by a serpent while in his garden (1.5). Thus Denmark under Old Hamlet can be viewed as Eden, whereas now the serpent, in the form of Claudius, has taken over"20.

  2. In Act two, everyone notices a change in Hamlet because he has began his ...

    He warns her that their relationship can never result in marriage and this results in Laertes's dislike of Hamlet. The only difference between Laertes and Hamlet is that Laertes does not attempt to find out the truth like Hamlet does.

  1. Explore how and why Shakespeare presents thought and actions in the first two acts ...

    In act one scene two, Claudius's opening speech combines alliteration, assonance, parallelism, antithesis, oxymoron and doublets in an attempt to appear relaxed, level-headed and persuasive. In spite of this rhetoric, Shakespeare signals to the audience, long before they hear Claudius confess it, that the King's public mask conceals a troubled mind.

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    thoughts that had passed through his mind before;- in fact, in telling home-truths. Act iv. sc. 5. Ophelia's singing. O, note the conjunction here of these two thoughts that had never subsisted in disjunction, the love for Hamlet, and her filial love, with the guileless floating on the surface of

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