The Central Theme of Hamlet Is the Problem of Revenge

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English oral

The central theme of Hamlet is the problem of revenge. One after reading Hamlet can’t disagree with this statement. Not only is revenge the central theme in Hamlet but Shakespeare also shows us why revenge is problematic. One of the things that Shakespeare wanted people to take out of his play is that revenge is not only problematic but also harmful to not only the person seeking it but those around him.

First we must understand why revenge is problematic. When one’s got revenge on one’s mind he tends to think all about that and nothing else. It seems that revenge clouds his mind and therefore his decision making. We see this when Hamlet kills Polonius thinking its Claudius, if Hamlet would have taken the few seconds to look who it was behind the curtain he would have seen it was Polonius and not Claudius. However he was so busy in seeking revenge on Claudius that even though he took all this time to make sure Claudius was guilty at the end revenge has gotten into his mind so deeply that he couldn’t even wait to check he’s killing the right person. Revenge also causes a snow ball affect and when the whole hierarchy of a state is busy with revenge the state can never be run properly.

Through the whole play Shakespeare gives us examples of why revenge is problematic. His favorite character to do this is Hamlet; he uses Hamlet to show that when one is seeking revenge it’s the only thing on his mind, and that can drive a person into madness. An example of this is the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia. At the begging of the play we get the feeling that they’re in love however after Hamlet is approached by the ghost and is told to go seek revenge we start to see Hamlet hating Ophelia and even latter on in a fight between Hamlet and Ophelia Hamlet says, “I loved you not.” However then at Ophelia’s funeral Hamlet says, “Frothy thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sun.”

Towards play end of the play...
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