Hamlet: Revenge Leads To Death Essay, Research Paper
Humans are strongly influenced by both their beliefs and their emotions, and as such, they adapt easily to character developments. William Shakespeare, in Hamlet, exposes the audience to the inner conflicts of the royal house of Denmark. The most obvious and frequently repeated of these conflicts had to do with revenge. Hamlet s conflict with Claudius had to do with revenge and Laertes conflict with Hamlet also had to do with revenge. Consequently, the consequences of these conflicts are of death and chaos. Thus, one might conclude that revenge led to death and chaos.
Early in the play, the emotional Hamlet was asked by the ghost of his father to exact revenge on his uncle Claudius. Hamlet was instantly vengeful: “Haste me to know ‘t, that I, . . . May sweep to my revenge” (act 1, scene 5, line 29-31). However, once he found out that Claudius was the perpetrator, Hamlet was very indecisive about what to. He was torn between his beliefs on whether if the ghost was telling the truth or not (act 2, scene 2, line 596-600), eventually, he devised a way to find out the truth (the mouse trap) and from there, had set his mind on taking revenge upon Claudius. Up to this point, the chaos and disruptions increased with every scene, but no deaths yet. Now, after Hamlet was sure of the guilty Claudius, death came. Immediately after the mouse trap, Hamlet killed Polonius who was behind a drape, thinking that Polonius was Claudius (act 3 scene 4, line 25-26). This action started a chain reaction that led to further death and chaos. Ophelia, who had found out that the mad Hamlet had killed her father, went mad and drowned (act 4, scene 7, line 185-186).
Laertes found out about the misfortunes of his family and was quick to take revenge on Hamlet with the help of Claudius (who, although he did not know about this, had unintentionally sent Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths in England). He and Claudius devised a plan to kill Hamlet by using poison in a duel. This, ultimately, led to even more deaths and chaos. The first to die from this event was the queen Gertrude. She drank the poisoned wine cup that was meant for Hamlet (act 5 scene 2, line 282-284). She died a painful death. The second to die was Claudius, who was forced to drink the poisoned wine by Hamlet (act 5 scene 2, line 319). The third to die was Laertes who was stabbed by the poisoned sword devised to kill Hamlet (act 5 scene 2, line 324). The last to die was Hamlet, who was cut by Laertes with the poisoned sword (act 5 scene 2, line 351). At the end, Fortinbras of Norway came and was made king of Denmark (act 5 scene 2, line 382).
Thus ended the most famous of Shakespearean tragedies. Eight lives were taken away, as the results of revenge. Chaos and confusion spurted into unmanageable proportions as the result of revenge. A country was lost as the result of revenge (Fortinbras of Norway became king of Denmark after the royal family died). Yet, this is what makes Shakespearean tragedies so popular. All this deaths and deceits and chaos is what makes Hamlet so entertaining in a tragical way, of course.