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Vengeance Shall Be Mine Essay

1105 words - 5 pages

Change can truly be a scary concept for some people to grasp. Some people change for the best or some change for the worst. Hamlet is an individual constantly watched because of his change of behavior, speech and thinking. Many of his peers realize that Hamlet has changed for the worst and even gone mad. It is noticeable to many that Hamlet has the biggest character development in the text. Hamlet’s character undergoes many behavioral changes when he is told by his father to avenge his wrongful murder by killing Claudius. I believe Hamlets transformation by revenge is a three stage process in which he evolves to a being consumed by revenge and vengeance.
The first stage of Hamlet’s metamorphosis of turning to a being fuelled by revenge is that he begins to believe he has a divine right to engage his vengeance on Claudius. In the text Hamlet is told by his father’s ghost from purgatory, a spiritual place of unsaved souls, “ If thou didst ever thy dear father love- revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” (Shakespeare I.v. 23-25). This line gains interest to the act of revenge by Hamlet. He is already willing to execute his act of vengeance on his father’s murderer by stating “Haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift As meditation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge.” (Shakespeare I.v. 29-31). Hamlet basically reveals that he is indeed ready to carry out revenge as soon as the ghost reveals the murderer’s identity. The ghost tells Hamlet his murderer was his uncle, Claudius. The ghost informs Hamlet “But thou howsoever thou purest this act, Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge To prick and sting her.” (Shakespeare I.v. 84-88). The ghost simply tells Hamlet he doesn’t care how Hamlet extracts his revenge on Claudius but he must not lose his mind or harm his mother. Hamlet is so rivaled up by the ghost that he fully commits to the corruption of revenge. He believes this ghost of his father has given him a divine right to lay vengeance upon Claudius without punishment or sin. Hamlet then accepts revenge as his main focus of his mind and soul as he states he “will wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past That youth and observation copied there, And thy commandment all shall live Within the book and volume of my brain.” (Shakespeare I.v. 99-103). Hamlet fully accepts his divine duty given by the ghost and proclaims that revenge will fully be upon his mind. One critique elegantly elaborates on Hamlets proclamation that Hamlet sees himself “ As an agent of Gods Vengeance, Hamlet then could act, and his revenge would have the authority and finality of God’s revenge.” (Kastan 117).
The second stage of Hamlet’s metamorphosis is when his mercy challenges his thirst for revenge. Hamlet shows mercy on Claudius while he is praying by stating “And now I’ll do’t-and so’ a goes to heaven, And so...

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