Hamlet The Revenge Tragedy

Categories: Play

Everyone has craved revenge at some point in their life but I firmly believe that revenge is a dangerous theory to live by. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare Hamlet the prince of Denmark finds out from a ghost that claims to be his father’s spirit that his death was caused by his uncle Claudius after finding this out Hamlet starts a plan to seek revenge and kill his uncle but at the end of the play everyone dies after reading the ending of Hamlet it came across my mind that the play is a revenge tragedy.

But there’s many scenes in the play that keep Hamlet from killing his uncle and this could describe Hamlet’s persona as indecisive. I strongly believe that the play would have had a better outcome if Hamlet never planned a plan to seek evenge. In this play called Hamlet revenge is a strong motif not only does Hamlet seek revenge also other characters like Laertes want revenge for his father’s and sister’s death but he ends up dead.

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In Act 2, scene 2 Claudius becomes very curious to why Hamlet is acting weird and with madness so he asks Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet also characters come to Denmark to perform a play and Hamlet ask them to act a scene that he made to see his uncles reaction and see if he showed his guilt after this Hamlet will decide if his uncle is guilty and keep on with his plan of killing him.

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In this play we also have Gertrude who is Hamlets mother she marries Claudius after Hamlets father dies so in other words she marries her rother in law and Hamlet feels very angry and betrayed with his mother’s actions he feels that his mom forgot about his dad fast and even suspects if she had something to do with his death. We also have Polonius and Ophelia who play a big role in the play Ophelia is Hamlets lover and they never get the chance to be together because of Ophelia’s father Polonius. He claims that loving Hamlet will cause a lot of problems so he tells Ophelia that their love can’t continue and Polonius claims that Hamlet is acting different and with madness because of not being able to be with Ophelia.

These rumors create tension in the play it makes Claudius and Gertrude think if this is really the reason to why he is acting like that but little do they know Hamlet is acting like that because it’s part of his plan for revenge against Claudius. We also have Horatio a very good friend of Hamlet from university Horatio is the only person that Hamlet can trust. In the beginning of the play the author introduces the characters and there isn’t a lot of tension going on Hamlet talks to his father’s spirit who is the ghost in Act 1 and the ghost tells him ‘Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder’. He then starts acting with madness and everyone wonders why he is acting like this he starts his plan of killing his uncle but Hamlet can be a big procrastinator in almost the whole play he procrastinates on killing his uncle and tends to forget what his goal is which is killing his uncle.

In my opinion Hamlet didn’t handle his plan of revenge good he often got confused to what he had to do and if what he was doing was the right thing. He becomes very slow with his actions and starts acting very crazy to the point where he accidently kills Polonius who is Ophelia dad in Act 3, Scene 4 after this scene in the play there was a time of confusion to where I was wondering if Hamlet was really crazy. After the death of Polonius it came very clear that indeed Hamlet is a revenge tragedy the death of Polonius who was innocent and didn’t do much but keep him away from Ophelia was very unexpected in this play. That’s one example to why revenge can be a dangerous theory to live by it can hurt innocent people who didn’t deserve to get hurt. After the death of Polonius tension starts to build up Claudius wants to send Hamlet away because his actions have gotten out of control.

Revenge has a price and I firmly believe that the author was trying to show us this in the play because not only does Polonius dies but so does Ophelia. In Act 4, Scene 7 Gertrude reports that Ophelia has died in a very mysterious way Ophelia got caught up in all this tension and everyone believes she grew mad after not being able to be with Hamlet she became crazy after finding out her father was dead and this makes her suicide herself although the cause of her death remained a mystery we can conclude that revenge had a lot to do with this if only the young prince Hamlet would’ve never killed her dad and fought for their love things would’ve been different and Ophelia would have still be alive but he was caught up in his plan of revenge against his uncle Claudius. In Act 3, Scene 3 hamlet walks in this room quietly where his uncle Claudius is praying and starts to think that this is his perfect opportunity to kill his uncle but immediately thinks that killing his uncle while he is praying will only send his uncle spirit to heaven.

‘Now might I do it pat, now he is praying; And now I'll do’t. And so he goes to heaven; And so am I revenged. That would be scann’d: A villan kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven.’ (3.3.1) this quote is used to explain that Hamlet isn’t trying to send his soul to heaven he wants his soul to go to hell for killing his father and if he kills Claudius now while he prays it will defeat his purpose of his main goal in avenging his father’s death. Laertes finds out about his father’s and sister’s death through Claudius he becomes very angry towards Hamlet and wants to revenge their deaths. Claudius and Laertes come up with a plan to kill Hamlet and this takes us to the ending of the play where Hamlet and Laertes have a sword fight and everyone is present. In Act 4, Scene 2 this sword fight concludes the ending of the play the swords are poisoned and also a glass of wine is poisoned just in case if the swords don’t work they can trick Hamlet into drinking the glass of wine.

Gertrude ends up drinking the glass of wine with out knowing that it is poisoned both Hamlet and Laertes get stab with the poisoned sword but before Hamlet dies he goes up to Claudius and stabs him with the sword in this scene everyone dies. And the only one who is alive is Horatio he will be responsible for telling what really happened and how everyone ended dead. When I think about this play I think about the horrible outcome that it had ones bad decisions can affect everyone and cause a lot of tragedy if Claudius would have never killed Hamlet’s dad Hamlet would have never grew with madness and seek revenge. But not only do I think it was all Claudius fault I also think Hamlet let the ghost persuade him into making a plan to seek revenge against his uncle if he would’ve ignored the ghost and just try to prove that his uncle killed his dad Claudius would have been incarcerate and many people would’ve never died and probably Hamlet and Ophelia could’ve been together.

And of course the play would’ve had a different ending but I strongly feel that William Shakespeare wanted to prove the point that revenge is a tragedy and is a dangerous theory to live by. Hamlet The Film Vs Hamlet The Book The movie Hamlet shows off the theme of indecisiveness in many ways. Many of these are seen in the movie Hamlet (2009) version when Hamlet did his first soliloquy, his attitude was in a way the same but with more emphasis of his emotions. His tone of voice and choice of words seemed like he was questioning things in his own life that he has no idea why they are happening and feel trapped. As he questions many of his families and people who surround him decisions as well as his own. Another example would be while he was about to kill Claudius the resemblance of this theme is examined understandable as well as in the book. The movie shows his emotions in a clear and detailed manner, so the viewers see how he feels just like in the book.

The way that Hamlet feels and goes to show it all relates to the simple fact that it can be seen and read. The character Hamlet shows great anger and sadness after his father’s departure and new royalty is in action. The indecisiveness path that Hamlet chose to acquire can only be the effects of grieving in his life. For he is set to be seen as a son who has lost his father and now has no role model to look up to and lost his way because he has no guidence now that his father is gone. Like in the book the movie Hamlet (2009) version has many similarities to the book the text of the book and the words of the characters in both are the exact same. lthough William Shakespeare never explains the setting of every scene in the book, he explains other things that bring the play to life. Beginning with when Hamlet first saw the ghost of his father all the words spoken by the characters remain the same, but this all takes place and how it was shown was not seen in the book.

In addition, his third soliloquy Hamlet spoke to himself about being mad at himself showing self-hate for not yet avenging his father’s death, which was emphasized the same way as in the text showing raw emotions on his feelings. And lastly while he killed Polonius, the way that Hamlet felt was precisely described in the book by William Shakespeare and resembled the movie like a mirror. He was distinguished as despreate for the need to seek revenge that without thinking killed the wrong man. It is seen that Polonius was set to spy on Hamlet and was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time while Hamlet was arguing with his mother in the room Polonius was hiding in the closet. Goes to show how far things got just like the book describe, the text remained the same as the way the play unfolded was altered to highlight certain key points that were important in the play. To see what created Hamlets indecision and the effect of it in the play. The events that occurred in the book although are similar have their own difference that sets them apart. Parts of the play were cut out from the movie or were not shown in the book but were in the movie.

An example of this would be when Ophelia went mad and needed to see the Queen Gertrude and King Claudius, she spoke to them and had flowers and sung very weird songs while dancing. In the book Hamlet by William Shakespeare it did not however include that she took her clothes of and was very crazy like in the movie Hamlet (2009) version. Ophelia spoke to the Queen and King and both were very sorry of her father’s death, but that was not enough for her for she had already lost herself. Another example that was seen in the movie Hamlet (2009) version is his famous soliloquy “To be or to not be” in the book Hamlet by William Shakespeare was more about the words than the tone. In the movie it is emphasized how he feels and shows far more motions than in the book. As for it did not seem so gruesome in text as visually. These example shows what key points of each part was. The indecisiveness of Hamlet however is seen no matter how many things are cut out from the book or movie because his character is unsure but both the book and the play have very similar and different scenes, but both give us the same motifs. 

Updated: Apr 19, 2023
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Hamlet The Revenge Tragedy. (2022, Jun 06). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/hamlet-the-revenge-tragedy-essay

Hamlet The Revenge Tragedy essay
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