Revenge and Insanity in Hamlet and the 21st Century
In Hamlet, the themes of revenge and insanity are predominant. When one seeks revenge, they stop at nothing until their own despair and pain has been extinguished. We see these themes in today's society, and they thrive especially in a high school setting. Although revenge and insanity are dealt with much differently today, when Hamlet was written, revenge almost certainly lead to death of all involved. These outcomes are the equivalent of bullying and embarrassment in the 21st century. Social media is in our day in age the easiest and most powerful form of revenge, whereas in Shakespeare's time, bringing shame to a family's name or murder were the best ways of getting revenge.
In Shakespeare's Hamlet, young prince Hamlet is told of a ghost that resembles his father and knows he must talk to it. When he does, the ghost tells Hamlet of Claudius murdering him. Hamlet becomes enraged and feels the need to avenge his father's death by killing the one at fault, his uncle, King Claudius. In the 1500s however, wizardry and witchcraft were crimes punishable by death, so Hamlet could tell no one of the encounter except for his good and trusting friend, Horatio. This scene creates a sense of isolation, by him seeing his father's ghost and having no one to talk to about it (I, iv). In today's society, being the victim of bullying can cause an individual to feel like they need to get revenge on those who put them through pain. There is a feeling of isolation because this victim would keep the information to themselves and act upon it as they felt was necessary. Many times, the results from the retaliation are devastating.
Hamlet goes insane from all that is happening and from being rejected by his love. His madness turns into a plot of revenge against his uncle and all of those who didn't believe him. His plan consists of putting on a play that would recreate the murder of his father. He believes that this will prove if his uncle is really responsible for the murder. If Claudius was indeed guilty, Hamlet would...