“Hamlets Methods of Enacting Revenge Are Ineffective.” Beginning with an Analysis of Act Iii Scene Ii, to What Extent Do You Agree?

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Hamlet is unique in its revenge genre as it has more than one revenge plots occurring within it. The Dominating one is of Hamlet and his desire to avenge his Father by killing his uncle. Throughout the play we see Hamlet in ideal situations to carry out his revenge, but choosing not to do so. In Act III Scene II we see Hamlet using the play that has been set up to try to test the innocence of his Uncle and king by gauging his reaction to a staging of the events of how he supposedly murdered Hamlets father.

In this scene we see the so called ‘Mousetrap’ being played out as Hamlet witnesses Claudius reaction to the play and witnesses his reaction, from this he draws accurately that Claudius is guilty. He has confirmed the ghosts message as true, ‘O good Horatio I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound,’ and has from that found his resolve and is now fully willing to avenge his father by killing Claudius. From Claudius sudden exit ‘The king rises’ and his poor reason for doing so ‘Give me light. Away!’ it leaves Hamlet and the audience fairly certain of Claudius guilt. This leads us to disagree that Hamlets methods of enacting revenge are ineffective as the ‘Mousetrap’ was very successful for Hamlet in finding his resolve and evidence for him to exact his revenge.

To some extent though the Mousetrap was only effective for Hamlet as it convinced him that of Claudius’ guilt but it doesn’t wholly convince the audience and possibly Horatio, as we can see from Horatio’s lack of enthusiasm and joy but instead simply agreeing with Hamlet on what he saw not what he has drawn from it; ‘Hamlet: Upon the poisoning, Horatio: I did very well note him’. He like the reader, the queen and other members of the court will more likely to assume that it was Hamlet’s incessant taunting and insults that has disturbed the King and caused him to leave it in such a manner. The intended audience of this play which was a late Tudor/early Stuart one also may be more drawn to it as...
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