Shakespeare's Revenge-Tragedy Hamlet: Revenge Plots

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Hamlet essay draft.
William Shakespeare’s prominent role in English literature is accountable to his ability to reflect and challenge matters substantial to humanity; provoking the reverberation of similar feelings in the human psyche. The revenge-tragedy Hamlet, being the most examined and decoded text of Shakespeare’s, implements several elements that contribute to strengthening the revenge plots by the characters of Hamlet and Laertes. The thematic concepts of mortality and verisimilitude are key principles in shaping Hamlet as a character motivated to take advantage of his toilsome relationships and problematic fellow characters, in order to carry out his revenge. Mortality is a pivotal theme throughout Hamlet. Its role in revenge is immediately addressed in the presence of the ghost of Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet. The appearance of the ghost displayed inconsistency with the beliefs of the audiences of Elizabethan times as the concept of purgatory was against Protestantism, the commonly accepted religion in Elizabethan England. “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life/ Now wear his crown” is a biblical allusion to the snake from Adam and Eve to blatantly expose the blasphemous deeds of Claudius. The ghost urges Hamlet to avenge his death in order to “Let not the royal bed of Denmark be a couch for luxury and damned incest”, referring to Gertrude’s lustful motives in her quick resilience to marry Claudius thereafter King Hamlet’s death. Patriarchal discourse hints at Shakespeare’s misogynous perspectives, and is implemented to insinuate that the mortality of King Hamlet has augmented the effect of his ability to influence Hamlet to seek vengeance. Mortality not only sparks Hamlet’s revengeful ambition, but his contemplation upon mortality thwarts his attempts to kill Claudius. Recurring suicidal thoughts are evident in his first soliloquy in Act 1 Scene 2, wishing that God “had not fix’d his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter!” The mortal sin of suicide is...
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