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Is Hamlet primarily a tragedy of revenge Essay

Within “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare there are numerous events of revenge. Starting with Claudius’s envy of King Hamlet and ending with the murder of the king. Hamlet tries to avenge his father’s death by murdering Claudius but mistakenly kills Polonius. Claudius tells the news to Laertes right after the death of his father. Claudius hopes that Laertes will take matter into his own hands and slaughter Hamlet. Claudius needs Laertes to go after Hamlet before he has the opportunity to successfully assassinate Claudius.

The families suffer from constant thoughts of vengeance which ultimately leads to their demise. Claudius’ envy eventually gets the better of him and compels him to butcher his brother, Lord Hamlet. Claudius finds himself in the shadow of his brother. The ghost, Lord Hamlet, explains his murder in detail to his son. The Ghost’s point of his speech to Hamlet is for Hamlet to avenge his death; “If thou didst ever thy dear father love . . . / Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (http://www. shakespeare-navigators. com/hamlet/One5. html) after the talk with his father, Hamlet is determined to kill Claudius.

As in the Ten Commandments, the third of Ten Commandments says “Honour your father and Mother. ” Lord Hamlet tells his son to kill Claudius, and from that point it becomes Hamlet’s life mission. He would die just to complete this goal. Hamlet had to kill Claudius when he was doing something immoral. Hamlet believes if Claudius is performing something pleasant, he will go to heaven instead of going to hell where Hamlet demands him to finish off. Hamlet’s want of slaying King Claudius inaugurates payback. Hamlet takes his chance to kill Claudius but mistakenly murders Polonius instead.

There was a chance for Hamlet to kill Claudius but Hamlet found him praying. If you were praying and are killed while doing so you will go to heaven as you are doing something holy. To this day they would do a baptism or confession right before someone dies to release them from all of their sins. This process is called the anointment of the sick. Hamlet waits for another chance to kill Claudius when he is doing something unmerited, to make sure he goes to hell instead of going to heaven. With vengeance on Hamlet’s mind, he talks to Gertrude but hears someone behind the curtains.

He saw this man hiding listening to their conversion, he strikes at the man, after stabbing the man he sees it is Polonius, not Claudius. This misfortune creates more drama for Hamlet but creates an unintended opening for Claudius to save himself from Hamlet. Claudius runs off to inform Laertes that his father was slain by Hamlet. When Claudius finds out Hamlet murdered Polonius, he ran to find safety as he knows that should have been him talking to Gertrude, not Polonius. While rushing over to notify Laertes of the situation, he thinks it’s only a matter of time before Hamlet exterminates him.

The only person that can help him with this problem is Laertes as he now has a reason to kill him rather than just killing him for fun. Laertes is outraged and wants to avenge his father’s death by killing Hamlet. Laertes devised a plan to snuff Hamlet by “Which Laertes can kill Hamlet in front of an audience, and it will appear to be an accident; no one will know it is murder. Laertes shares his own plan to dip his sword in a poison so lethal that a minor scratch will cause instant death. ” (http://www. cliffsnotes. com/study_guide/literature/hamlet/summary-analysis/act-iv/scene-7. tml) Claudius has a back-up plan” Claudius intends to present Hamlet, if Hamlet scores the first “hit,” with a poisoned goblet of wine. This way, Hamlet will be killed even if he wins the match. ” (http://utminers. utep. edu/ajkline/hamlet. htm#Act IV, Scene vii:) just in case a mistake happens when Laertes is battling Hamlet.

When Laertes and Hamlet finally meet and Laertes challenges Hamlet to a duel, with no hesitation Hamlet agrees. Before the fight Hamlet’s mind is all over the place but kept remembering “King hold his purpose, I will win for him if I can; if not, I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits. (Book Act 5 scene 2 Lines 168-170) It gave Hamlet the motivation he needed for the battle versus Laertes. When the fight ended there were many deaths as no one lived from Hamlet stabbing Claudius to death. The eradication of King Claudius, Hamlet finally avenged Lord Hamlet’s death. Claudius’ death means Hamlet would assume the throne as he’s next in line to be king. While in battle though he was wounded by Laertes and is going to die as there isn’t medical treatment that could have healed him in time. Hamlet finishes himself off by drinking some poison to put an end to his pain and suffering.


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