Seeking Revenge In Hamlet Essay

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Every good story possesses an element of revenge. It remains obvious that Shakespeare believes this statement, for a great deal of revenge exists within his renowned play, Hamlet: Prince of Denmark. Although the Lord states in Deuteronomy 32:35, “Vengeance is mine…” virtually all humans reach a point in their lives where they contemplate taking revenge on someone who has wronged them (ESV). Whether this wrong wounds them down to the core of their very being, or simply ruffles their feathers a bit, the desire to seek revenge exists strongly within their own self, as well as the sinful nature of all humans. This fact remains evident to the audience of Shakespeare’s play, in which many of the characters desire to gain revenge on one another. In…show more content…
At the outset, the Ghost appears to Hamlet and tells him, “I am thy father’s spirit, doomed for a certain term to walk the night, and for the day confined to fast in fires, till the foul crimes done in my days of nature are burnt and purged away”, (Shakespeare 28-29). This gives the audience a powerful visual of the king’s sufferings, due to his deeds in life, and also the vengeful murder by his brother, Claudius. Next, Shakespeare actually portrays the gruesome image of the king’s murder, done by Claudius, “And curd, like eager droppings into milk, the thin and wholesome blood. So did it mine, and a most instant tetter barked about, most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust, all my smooth body”, (Shakespeare 30-31). This horrific example of imagery shows the outcome of Claudius’ vengeful and murderous deed; a vile death. Finally, Shakespeare exhibits the death of the beautiful Ophelia through Gertrude’s relation of it, “Her clothes spread wide, and mermaid-like awhile they bore her up, which time she chanted snatches of old lauds…but long it could not be till that her garments, heavy with their drink, pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay to muddy death”, (Shakespeare 121). Ophelia’s death gives the audience a morbidly serene visual of how revenge, even indirectly, can affect circumstances. In Hamlet’s attempt to murder Claudius, he killed Ophelia’s father, which drove her to the point of insanity. If Ophelia had not become insane, she would not have drowned. In this way, Hamlet’s desire of revenge indirectly caused Ophelia’s death. Though Shakespeare uses imagery to give his audience a strong visual, he continues on with yet another powerful literary
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