Blinding Revenge-Hamlet

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Michael Kuritnik
3/6/13
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Blinding Revenge

Fundamental themes are preserved throughout history because they relate to everyday aspects of life. Surprisingly, very little has changed since Shakespearean times. Although technology has changed the way in which humans communicate, people still react to emotional stimuli similarly to those of the middle ages.  Anger has always triggered annoyance, uproar and violence. Like several characters in Hamlet, today’s society experiences a thirst for revenge because of something unsettling that ultimately stirred up anger. Individuals who strive for vengeance become overwhelmed with indignation. In some cases idiosyncratic deception and false imagery are used in order to attain what one seeks. Throughout Hamlet, Shakespeare emphasizes that revenge leads to chaos and ultimately inevitable debilitating consequences

Revenge has the overwhelming ability to deteriorate a man into a monster. It influences Hamlet to make reckless decisions that ruin him and eventually lead to his downfall.  Hamlet is driven to insanity by his own desire to kill Claudius.  Hamlet becomes so obsessed with revenge that it quickly consumes him.  He exclaims in one of his soliloquy, “Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause And can say nothing- no, not for a king Upon whose property and most dear life A damned defeat was made” (II.ii.595-598), feeling guilty and remorseful for not yet acting on his impulse for revenge. At this point, calling himself a coward for not having taken revenge, Hamlet clearly demonstrates his madness for vengeance.  Moments later, blinded by revenge, Hamlet stabs Polonius on the impulsive whim that it may be Claudius spying on him.  He feels no guilt for his reckless action, suggesting that he acted out of madness and had little thought through the affair.  Consumed by revenge, Hamlet has deteriorated into a murderer.

Immediately after Hamlet murders Polonius, Claudius becomes blinded by his own desire for...
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