The play Hamlet is William Shakespeares best work that was released between 1601 and 1603, better known as The Revenge of Hamlet Prince of Denmark. Shakespeare tries to reveal the intricacy of human behavior and their nature. The play features a prince, Hamlet who traveled to Denmark for his fathers burial. Upon arriving home, he is surprised to learn that his mother was already remarried to the dead kings brother, his uncle Claudius. Additionally, his fathers ghost surprisingly appears to him and reveals that he was murdered. The main issue in this play is his incompetence to avenge his fathers death. However, this play has three plots: the vengeance plot, the looming conflicts with Norway, and the romance between Ophelia and Hamlet. My main focus will be on the theme of revenge and the important incidents on Hamlets journey in vengeance. Most of the characters in this play are interested in avenging others. Many of Hamlets external and internal tussles relate back to his conflicted feeling about revenging his fathers death.
I feel that Hamlets first thoughts after discovering that his father was murdered are of a vehement and instant revenge upon his uncle Claudius. However, over four scenes, I feel that Hamlets takes little deliberate action against Claudius, even though his fathers ghost demanded to be avenged. It is clear that no matter how furious Hamlet was and how much he thirsts to avenge his father, he could not do anything to resolve the conflicting feeling he harbored (Ryan, 90). I feel that it was a difficult task for him especially because being in that situation required him to reexamine his principles of soul and life (Lars, 60). All he saw was a dreadful situation that he had no power to change. He was confused and did not know what action to take since the same man that killed his father was the same man that married his mother. Shakespeare was trying to show that the reason for Hamlets confusion is because he was not sure if his mother had conspired with Claudius to kill his father. I feel that Hamlet was disgusted by his mothers incestuous marriage and instead found it better to remain silent. He thinks to himself that to maintain peace, he must hold his tongue (William, 116-117). It was clear that Shakespeare was trying to show the emptiness of the world by using images of disease, corruption, imprisonment, and darkness expose Hamlets state of mind.
I believe that the command from the ghost gave Hamlet purpose and mission. The ghost instructs him that If thou didst ever fear thy dear father love revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. Shakespeare was successful in making me pinpoint Hamlets duty and who his enemy was. I did not like the fact that there was a delay for revenge because Hamlet had sworn to avenge his fathers death (William, 118). I think that Hamlet was ignorant because, despite the reappearance of the ghost, he took too long to honor his fathers demands. In my opinion, Hamlets purpose and mission to revenge were very much delayed. When he traveled to England, he seemed to have forgotten his duty to his father and on his return; he shows no interest in planning to kill Claudius. When he finally got the opportunity to take Claudius life, I think he does so suddenly without intending to do it. Actually, I can conclude that his revenge is only by chance and if he had not killed Claudius, his fathers death would not have been avenged. The delay for vengeance was caused by Hamlets compulsion to suspend (Ryan, 93).
The readers can conclude that Hamlets delay for avenging his fathers death is caused by the strict and impossible guidelines that were demanded by the ghost of his father. It is also possible that this delay could have been caused by his fear of death, either to inflict it on someone else or suffer it. Vengeance causes anger and forces an individual to take actions without considering any logic. Am thinking of what I would have done if someone had killed someone I love. It is evident that this time period is very different from that of Hamlet. During those centuries, they would have taken law by their hands, unlike the 21st century where we report all lawbreaker to the authorities to attain justice. Having said that, I believe that Hamlet had a good justification for revenging his fathers death, and his reasons may be misunderstood in these present times (Lars, 62).
Ryan, K. Discovering Literature: Shakespeare and Renaissance Writers. London. Bloomsbury
Publishers, vol. 2, 2016, pp. 90-93.
William, Shakespeare. Hamlet. Oxford. Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 116-118.
Lars, E. Moral Agency in Hamlet. Shakespeare studies. Vol. 40, 2012, pp. 60-62.
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