HAMLET’S OBSESSION: REVENGE AS THE THEME OF THE PLAY
Shakespeare’s Hamlet has many themes such as Impossibility of Certainty, The mystery of Death. But the basic theme would be Revenge. Revenge, in Hamlet, serves as the driving force of the play. The main character of the play, Hamlet, is always obsessed with the revenge for his father’s death. This obsession leads to the actions he performs and eventually to his death. Hamlet just wants the revenge to be perfect. He even spares the life of King Claudius even when he had the opportunity to kill him just because he thinks that if he killed him then, his revenge wouldn’t be perfect. “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying; And now I'll do't. And so he goes to heaven; And so am I revenged" (3.3.73-75). Whatever Hamlet does in the play, he does it in order to avenge his father’s death. Hamlet tells the Ghost, "Speak; I am bound to hear." Here he means that listening to his father’s spirit was his duty which he has to fulfill. The ghost then tells Hamlet that he had another duty, which was to avenge his father’s death. "So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear"(1.5.7). The ghost again repeats the message and tells Hamlet that if he loved his father he would avenge his murder. “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder" (1.5.25). Hamlet then asks the ghost to recite the story of his death and then he would prove his love for his father by avenging his murder. "Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift / As meditation or the thoughts of love, / May sweep to my revenge" (1.5.29-31). Later in the play, after some time has passed since Hamlet promised the ghost that he would take revenge; some players come to Elsinore for performing a play. In the play, the First Player weeps as he tells the story of Queen Hecuba's grief for her murdered husband. Here while seeing the play, Hamlet questions himself as to why he hasn't carried out his revenge. To Hamlet it seems that First Player...
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