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Hamlet’s Revenge

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jdwinston97
Words 2581
Pages 11
The play, Hamlet by William Shakespeare explores the concept of revenge. To most people, revenge means getting back at somebody. In order to get to the point of wanting revenge, something has to happen to you and has to get to you. Revenge is a common human emotion that is usually negative and destructive. This destructive aspect of revenge is evident in the play, Hamlet. The main character of the play, Prince Hamlet, is the principal character who struggles with seeking revenge. For Hamlet, revenge becomes a chain reaction in the play causing him to commit acts of violence against others both intentional and accidental. Other characters in the play like Laertes, Hamlet’s dead father’s ghost, Fortinbras, and King Claudius also look for revenge. Overall, the play Hamlet portrays revenge as a destructive and powerful emotion that negatively influences the characters.
The first incident where revenge is brought up in the play is at the beginning when Hamlet confronts the ghost of his father. Horatio, Hamlet’s friend, is the one who tells Hamlet that there is a ghost that Hamlet needs to see. Intrigued by this thought, Hamlet goes with Horatio to see this ghost. As it turns out, the apparition is the ghost of Hamlet’s dead father. The revenge is mentioned when the ghost commands Hamlet to “revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” (1.5.31) The ghost does not hesitate to mention revenge; it is a natural act that Hamlet should commit to honor his father. Hamlet is told that his father was murdered by Claudius and Winston 2 now must seek revenge for that murder. According to David Kastan, “To be Hamlet, to deserve the name, at least as far as the Ghost is concerned, is to be a revenger.” (112) At first, Hamlet is shocked by this news and seems unable to understand what has just been told to him. Even his friend Horatio comments, “These…...

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