Hamlet And Frankenstein Essay

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This essay serves as a way to understand the intertextual relationship between Hamlet and Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus, by showing readers the difference between revenge and retribution, as well as what prompts each of these two ideas, the influence of a father figure (or lack thereof) on a son’s moral compass, and the introspection of Hamlet and the Creature in what they are and who they become on their journeys of revenge. On the surface, the ideas of revenge and retribution are one and the same: seeking harm upon another person or multiple people based on their actions. However, as Theodore M. Benditt says in his essay, “revenge … is concerned with the quest for status, in particular, the reassertion or reestablishment of one’s…show more content…
With this statement, readers begin to question whether Hamlet has secondary motives as to his plot for revenge. With the early death of his father, Hamlet’s uncle inherits the throne rather than him. If it is indeed true that this secondary motive is underlying Hamlet’s actions, it could definitively be argued that Hamlet does in fact seek revenge against his uncle. However, if readers do not interpret Hamlet as seeking the throne, Benditt’s essay goes on to explain that “to retaliate [emphasis added] is to return like for like, to pay back in kind, and it also connotes that the like-for-like return is evil-for-evil rather than good for good” (362). With this in mind, some may decide that Hamlet is instead seeking retaliation against Claudius rather than revenge. Either way, though, Hamlet’s motivation lies primarily with avenging his father’s unjust death. Parental influence on a child’s growth is unparalleled, as the opinions and insights of a father into his son’s life and morals are undoubtedly influential. Thomas Renaud Steele speaks of fatherly influence in his dissertation, saying that a “consensus view has developed within the depth psychological literature that the combination of the father’s passion or emotionality coupled with moral or spiritual restraint accounts for his psychological impact” which then leads to the conclusion that “negative effects of

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