Revenge in Hamlet

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Pages: 3 (938 words) Published: July 23, 2013
Revenge in Hamlet
The act of revenge is often regarded as a positive act of retribution that functions to restore balance in the moral order of nature, and is therefore not seen in itself as an act of evil, but rather as that of a divine vengeance. Likewise, a superficial reading of Shakespeare's Hamlet, is understood to be about a young prince's attempt of restoring balance in nature by avenging his father's murder at the hands of his uncle. But when one delves deeper into the textual depths of Hamlet's madness, the redundant murder of his uncle and his subsequent death, one may only conclude that Shakespeare is trying to show the audience that revenge is not an act of restoration in moral order, but rather as a trigger that only adds more to the turmoil and chaos that had initially come from the original transgressor's sin. Hamlet used his madness as a means by which he could get close to, and eventually kill, his uncle Claudius. In order to do so, he had to remove all potential barriers, including noblemen and close friends, who may have posed a threat to the success of his assassination plot. Removing these barriers often meant death, as was true in the cases of Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. These methods, done as a means to reinstate the balance of nature within the state of Denmark ironically created an even greater unrest within the chain of being than what was first opened with his father's untimely death, and are furthermore not resolved when Hamlet avenges his father's death at the end of the play. This unrest as a result of Hamlet's actions is noted by Claudius when he describes Hamlet as a "hazard so dangerous as doth hourly grow" (Ham. 3.3.6.), and that in order to contain him he must "[put] fetters upon his fear" (Ham.3.3.25.), indicating the danger Hamlets madness poses to society. Not only does he pose a physical danger to society, but his actions also further disrupt the chain of being, causing further political unrest. So by...
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