Reflection Essay on Characters in Hamlet

Category: Hamlet, Irony, Revenge
Last Updated: 07 Jul 2020
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Jose Cruz December 12, 2011 My English Research Paper Use general quote about betrayal (brainyquote. com) not from Hamlet. This quote from Shakespeares Hamlet includes two very important words; The words “Haste” and “revenge” not only deal with life but with many other literary works as well. In order to take revenge upon someone often means to get back at them or to inflict hurt or harm on them for an injury or wrong done to oneself.

Such is the case in Hamlet where Betrayal (revenge) is the biggest and main conflict of the play because, King Hamlet was ruler of Denmark until his brother Claudius, murders him to become King and marry the Queen, Gertrude. That plot right there creates a whole lot of tension between Hamlet and the new King Claudius because Hamlet wishes to vengeance his fathers death. Therefore, In the play Hamlet, William Shakespeare exemplifies the impact of betrayal on family dynamics throught the use of conflict, dialogue, and irony. Shakespeare uses conflict to show how the betrayal affects family dynamics. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying; And now I’ll do’t. And so he goes to heaven; And so am I revenged. That would be scann’d: A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain sent To heaven” (3. 3. 1). One of the main conflicts of the play is that Hamlet feels betrayed on many levels by the King. (better explaination on this quote)King Claudius is the murderer of his father, King Hamlet. What Hamlet is saying in this quote is his father has died and he is asking for him to revenge him, so since a villain, (King Claudius) killed his father.

Since he is King Hamlets only son, he feels he must take revenge upon his fathers death and kill King Claudius. “No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize; Revenge should have no bounds” (4. 7. 13). A quote said by King Claudius; Then Laertes and Claudius conspire to murder Hamlet. Laertes and Hamlet both have a father to revenge is this play, Laertes wishes to take revenge upon Hamlet for his father was murdered by King Hamlet during a war. When Claudius later asks Laertes how far he would go to avenge his father, Laertes replies that he would slit Hamlet’s throat in the church (4. 7. 98).

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Through out most of the play, there is a build up of tension between Hamlet, Claudius, and Laertes. There are critics all around the world who put there two sense in about all different books. There are plenty of critics who write about what they think about the play Hamlet, and most of them can have very interesting write ups. Acritic named William Hazlitt and from reading his page, some say they have personally found his work very observing. “He is the prince of philosophical speculators; and because he cannot have his revenge perfect, according to the most refined idea his wish can form, he declines it altogether” (William Hazlitt).

Hazlitt says that Hamlet cannot have the revenge he wishes and intends to on the King, so he then scruples to trust the suggestions of the ghost. In the play, it reveals that the ghost is the spirit of King Hamlet and he is reaching out to Hamlet personally to seek revenge for his death and kill Claudius. Summarize how conflict is used as a technique by Shakespeare to demonstrate effects of betrayal on family dynamics. Shakespeare uses dialogue as his secondary to show the impact of betrayal.

The term dialogue means to have a conversation between two or more persons. In the play, Hamlet is approached by the ghost of King Hamlet multiple times, and what the ghost is asking of his is to avenge his death. “In the darkness, the ghost speaks to Hamlet, claiming to be his father’s spirit, come to rouse Hamlet to revenge his death, a foul and most unnatural murder” (1. 5. 25). The most common conclusion is that the dialogue used to create the impression of a significant time lapse between Hamlet’s encounter with the ghost and the subsequent action. The interchange of question and answer, as a basis of dialogue, is fundamental to dramatic technique whenever it serves a purpose, becomes dialectic” (Levin, 227). The dramatic technique in Hamlet is all based upon the dialogue used in the play. The conversations between all the characters in Hamlet discusses betrayal and family dynamics. For example, when Claudius and Hamlet have a conversation, Hamlet tries to play it cool but inside all this tension is building up at any moment, he could strike on Claudius but he chooses not to and waits for the best moment.

Everyone knows that betrayal is the main conflict of the play Hamlet. “So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear” (1. 5. 7). Here is when the plot of revenge is established and continues until the end of the play. Shakespeare uses irony as another technique to illustrate how family dynamics ae affected by betrayal. Irony is the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect (Dictionary). After Hamlet’s first meeting with the ghost, he decides to put on an antic disposition (1. 5. 172).

He pretends to be mad but really he’s just trying to hide the fact that this behavior is a kind of a shield or protection against Claudius and the others who may try to pry out his secret and foil his revenge. (Rosenblum 731). Hamlet shows irony at this part of the play because he acts and speaks as if he’s mad and angry but really he’s just trying to keep a low profile. Critic Harry Levin says that the interplay between these preoccupations is the source of innumerable ironies, both conscious and unconscious, some of them attached to the hero’s viewpoint, other detached in a reminiscent overview (231).

What Levin is saying is that Hamlet has no plan on what he should do to avenge his fathers’ death and how and when he should strike Claudius to his death. Claudius begins his speech saying, “’Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet, To give these mourning duties to your father“, but that he “must know your father lost a father, That father lost, lost his. ”(1. 2. 87-89)  But he insults Hamlet, adding “’Tis unmanly grief. ”(1. 2. 94). When Claudius says that it is “sweet and commendable” to give this duty, he’s praising Hamlet for something that will eventually kill him.

Shakespeare is often considered on of the world’s greatest playwrights, and has a style to back it up. He writes with poetic diction using eloquent words and phrases. He uses irony to convey the impact of betrayal on family relationships The use of conflict, dialogue, and irony are used throughout the play Hamlet enabling Shakespeare to show the impact of revenge. Shakespeare uses conflict as his primary to express his characters’ reaction to betrayal. All throughout the play Shakespeare reates conflict between all the characters whether its between Hamlet and Claudius, or Laertes and Hamlet, etc.

By doing so he shows betrayal and its results. As said in the second paragraph, the main conflict of the play is betrayal and this leads to the desire for revenge. Many characters are seeking revenge at someone, but the main character with this feeling is Hamlet, who wishes to avenge his father’s death caused by the new king, King Claudius. All of this conflict in the play is seen into the dialogue of the characters. Shakespeare uses dialogue as another method to show the impact of betrayal.

He uses the conversations between those characters with vengeance on their minds to create moods throughout the play. Lastly, Shakespeare uses irony as his third to show the impact of betrayal. Take for example, when Claudius kneels to pray and Hamlet enters, this could’ve been Hamlets chance to kill Claudius, but he decides to spare him because then Claudius would not receive the tourturous afterlife Hamlet wishes upon him, instead he would go to heaven. That creates some sort of irony because Hamlet does the opposite of what he really wants to do. | |

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