"Revenge His Foul And Most Unnatural Murder." Hamlet Seeks For The Revenge Of His Father's Death Throughout The Play. However In The End, Does Revenge Actually Pay? Discuss.

1384 words - 6 pages

Shakespeare's Hamlet is a complex play where many themes are intertwined - themes that are essential to the development of the play. The issue of death and disease, both physical and emotional is very prevalent throughout the duration of the play, as well as fate and divine intervention. The play also questions madness and whether it can be feigned, as well as corruption and its moral implications. Also the 'To be or not to be' soliloquy, where Hamlet not only questions life and death, but many of life's other uncertainties as well.However, the most important theme in the development of Hamlet is revenge and question 'Does revenge pay?' Revenge is a frighteningly bloodthirsty emotion, which causes people to act blindly and without reason. Revenge is a theme that is cleverly built upon throughout the extent of the play; with it being the driving force behind two of the main characters in the play.The play is introduced by the appearance of the ghost of Hamlet's father in the first scene, which automatically gives the impression that something is amiss. This is later clarified by the statement; "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" (I.iv). The ghost materialises before Hamlet suggesting that his death was not as natural as it may first have seemed. The ghost requests Hamlet to "Revenge [my] foul and most unnatural murder" (I.v) and points him towards the murderer with "The serpent that did sting thy father's life now wears his crown" (I.v). This indicates that King Hamlet murder was committed by his brother, Claudius, who had now taken over as King of Denmark. The Ghost taunts Hamlet, telling him that it is part of every man's honour to avenge his death. Hamlet agrees to revenge his death, but his mind is still full of many doubts, and he just thinks about what he will do, rather than actually do it. However, when the time for action comes, it is the beginning of a ferocious cycle of hatred, death and revenge, which ultimately consumes all those who use it.Hamlet's doubts cause him to forget about his promise to the ghost, and finally to determine if the ghost was true, he attempts to prove Claudius' guilt. He creates a play, The Mousetrap and it is performed in court. The Mousetrap recreates a similar scenario as the one that had occurred when Hamlet's father was murdered. Hamlet was watching for a reaction from Claudius to see if he really was the vile murderer. Subsequent to the King's outburst after watching the performance, Hamlet confronts his mother and began to insult her betrayal of her first husband. Meanwhile the meddling fool, Polonius, was hiding behind a decorate rug that was adorning the wall in Gertrude's room. Hamlet sensed his presence and thinking that it was Claudius, plunged his dagger through the rug.This rash action causes much grief and sadness for many people. Hamlet, after Ophelia's betrayal of him, acts rudely to her, lying about his love for her and suggesting some inappropriate comments to her, mocking her for a...

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