Justice in Hamlet

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude Pages: 4 (1401 words) Published: April 16, 2008
In the revenge play of Hamlet, the idea of poetic justice can be seen throughout the play various times. Shakespeare allows the reader to understand the mistakes of each character by killing them off in a justly manner. While seeking revenge, the main characters of the play earn their poetic ending, permitting Shakespeare to restore the karmic balance of the play. Claudius, Leartes, Polonius, are all killed poetically as a direct result of their actions, while Ophelia is used to reiterate the poetic justices in the other character because of the fact that she is not killed poetically. Claudius poisoned King Hamlet in order to become King himself. While he feels the guilt of killing his brother, Claudius doesn’t want to give up the fruits of his crime, these being the queen and his crown. “Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy But to confront the visage of offence? And what's in prayer but this twofold force, To be forestallèd ere we come to fall Or pardoned being down? Then I'll look up. My fault is past. But oh, what form of prayer Can serve my turn, “Forgive me my foul murder”? That cannot be, since I am still possessed Of those effects for which I did the murder: My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. May one be pardoned and retain th' offense? (A.III.sc.iii.ln 46-57).” Claudius questions what God's mercy is for and how prayers serve the purposes of keeping us from sinning and bringing us forgiveness when we have sinned. Since Claudius already committed his sin and doesn’t want to give up the rewards, he doesn’t know if God will forgive him. In the end, Claudius gets what he deserves and is killed with his own poison. Claudius is forced, by Hamlet, to drink out of the poisoned goblet that killed Gertrude. An enraged Hamlet tells him “Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damnèd Dane, Drink off this potion. Is thy union here? Follow my mother (A.V.sc.II.ln 320-322).” We can see how Shakespeare incorporates...
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