Hamlet And Father Essay Research Paper There

Hamlet And Father Essay, Research Paper

There are many different reasons why Hamlet must avenge the death of his father

the late King Hamlet. The aspect of justice versus revenge is a prominent theme

throughout the play. Prominent characteristics in each of the characters seeking

revenge shows the different aspects of what each character feels is justice.

Hamlet is notoriously known for being a man of action. This characteristic

hampers the chain of events that follow after his father?s slaying. There are

many reasons why Hamlet wants to avenge his fathers murder, and justice and

revenge play a big role in when and where his revenge on Clauduis is played out

There is the revenge that he feels must be carried out to save his families

name. One of the most common themes is an ?eye for an eye?, and this is

shown many times through out the play. This is the main difference in the

revenge that hamlet seeks compare to that of the characters foil Laertes. There

is also the problems and the turmoil Hamlet goes through with on when and where

he must get revenge for his father, because he is having trouble justifying the

murder himself. Critics argue weather or not hamlet waited too long to seek his

revenge on Claudius. Weather or not this is a justifiable act is up to the

reader. In an article entitled, Hamlet and Two Witness Rule? by Peter R.

Moore, the work of two scholars is used to draw compelling arguments for both

sides of the issue of the murder being justifiable. Scholar S.F. Johnson says

there are certain books in the bible calling for revenge as the right thing to

do in the case of murder. He cites, Numbers 35:30 ?Anyone who kills a person

is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But not

on is to be put to death on the testimony of one witness.? ?This permits or

commands a man whose next of kin has been slain to kill the slayer?(Moore1).

Therefore is makes Hamlet unaccountable towards God for his actions. Eleanor

Prosser the second scholar in his article claims, "Numbers requires the

avenger to act immediately and without hatred or malice"(1). This seems

more plausible an argument for justifiable murder if it is a heat of the moment

act. Moore agrees with Johnson on this matter however saying, "Johnson is

quite right, as several aspects of Mosaic Law on avengers of blood were in

Shakespeares mind when he penned Hamlet?"(1). This makes a strong case

for why Hamlet should have acted earlier if he was wandering about the

repercussions for murder in the eyes of God. This is the part of the play were

the old phrase "an eye for an eye" comes to play. Hamlet would only be

giving Clauduis what he deserves. If murder were justifiable in some severe

cases then why did he wait for so long? Boris Pasternak’s views on why Hamlet

waited so long is this, "The real problem of Hamlet’s character concerns

not his procrastination, but rather the fact that living in a world where evil

reigns, he finds himself every moment in danger of succumbing to the general

infection. Even while preparing to carry out an act of justified vengeance, he

causes, in the process, unwarranted pain. How to remain pure in circumstances

where evil is unavoidable-here is one of the major human problems rising from

the tragedy."(France 23) This shows more insight into why Hamlet waited as

long as he did before getting his revenge. He is a good person at heart and does

not want to lower himself to the level of his uncle who is "A little more

than kin, and less than kind"(1.2.65). When one looks at the thought and

turmoil Hamlet goes through it is easy to see the difference in the personality

traits of Hamlet and Laertes and the different ways they go about achieving

their revenge. One critic Boris Pasternak said of Hamlet" He is not at all

a young man, but and aggressive heretic, burning with joy of struggle, drunk

with struggle with an unequal struggle: against him is forces, his only weapon

is thought"(France 25). This is where is where the main difference between

the two characters is seen. While hamlet and Laertes are both honor bound to

avenge the murder of their father they go about it in different ways. Laertes is

a man of action, filled with impulse. He admits his own treacherous nature, and

he does it with great pride. "Why, as a woodcock to mine own spring, Osric;

I am justly killed with my own treachery"(5.2.317). Laertes murders Hamlet

in a church thus widening the gap of their differences. Laertes is a foil of

hamlet throughout the play for these reasons.

Bevingtom, David. "Twentieth Century Interpretation of Hamlet: A

Collection of Critical Essays." Discovering Authors. 1968. Pg. 1-12

"Hamlet" Bloom, Harold. Bloom’s Notes: William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Broomall, PA, 1996. Doloff, Steven. "Shakespeare’s Hamlet." The

Explicator, vol. 52 Pg. 69-70. 1994. Dominic, Catherine C. Shakespeare’s

Characters for Students. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1997. France, Karen. Boris

Pasternak’s Translation of Hamlet. Harvard Press. 1974. Moore, Peter R.

"Hamlet and the Two Witness Rules." Notes and Queries, vol. 44 Pg.

498-504. Dec. 1997. Scott, Mark W. Shakespeare for Students. Detroit, MI: Gale

Research Inc., 1992. The Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids,

MI: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1985.


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