Last Updated 31 Jan 2023

The Theme of Revenge in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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Hamlet by William Shakespeare is the play of a son, Hamlet, who seeks revenge for his father's death cause by his uncle. The readers of this play are inclined to await for Hamlet to seek his revenge. Due to the circumstances Hamlet is inclined to feel lonely and asks if there is an after life. This is said through his sililoque in Act 3, Scene 1, "To be, or not to be: that is the question... Be all my sins remember'd" (II. 64-98). This silioque tends to give it's readers a feeling of suicide and to be empathetic towards the speaker.

In the sililoque "To be, or not to be" Hamlet wonders whether it is better to live with misery or die with uncertainty. Life is nothing but suffering and enduring fortune's unfair blows. Suicide is the ultimate defense against life's troubles. Suicide offers peaceful sleep; but what dreams may interrupt that sleep? Hamlet is afraid of the uncertain afterlife and those unknown nightmares that may be in store.

Death offers peace, but the dreaded unknown makes men too cowardly to commit suicide. Hamlet expresses a longing for an escape from this world to an another. It seems as if he fears that he has sinned because in the last lines he asks Ophelia to pray for him that all his sins be remembered by her. This sililoque conveys a truthful message to it's readers of how a mans nature is. Hamlet tends to feel this way due to his father's death, his mother remarrying within a month of his father's death to his uncle whom is the King now. He also is Hamlet's father's murderer.

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To begin this sililoque, Hamlet uses the support of a question. Then he answers by stating a few facts about his question. Hamlet's uses a repitition of negative words such as "suffer" (1.65), "sling" (1. 66), "troubles" (1. 67), "heart-ache" (1. 70), "whips and scorns" (1. 78), and "despis'd love" (1. 80) to express how he feels about the society and it's people as a whole. These words convey an empathetic gesture towards Hamlet because they implie that Hamlet has been through and is going through a depressed and sad time in his life.

To address the importance that death plays in Hamlet's life, Shakespeare uses the repetition of the word "sleep" in lines 68, 69, 73, and 74. The word sleep is an indication to death, though shakespeare also uses the word "death" and "die" directly in lines 68, 72, and 74. To lighten the depressed and sad mood a little, Shakepeare uses the word "dream" in line 74, when instead the word nightmare could have easily ajusted properly.

The imagery that this sililoque creates is that of different epics and stories. The image that line 66 gives is that of the duel scenes for land between the cousins from the epic Mahabharat. The image that line 67 can be related to is to the epic The Odyssey. The scene were the ship is being swallowed by the underwater mouth, yet the travelers on the ship are persistent to continue seems to give the image of a person who "takes arms against a sea of troubles" (1. 67). The other images that are conveyed through this sililoque are that of a depressed person whom can not seem to find a way out of this state other that sleeping forever, dying.

Yet, even after death he thinks his soul will not rest in peace and he will have bad dreams, which all will feel like reality. This person seems to be hurt from not only family but also a lover. Hamlet uses such images to enable his audience to view how he really feels deep down. Hamlets feelings of being hurt from a loved one, Ophelia, are portryed in line 80" despised love" and in lines 97-98 "The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons/ Be all my sins remember'd." He feels hurt due to Ophelia turning down his proposal because of her status compared to that of his.

These feelings helped Hamlet his character develop in muturity and the understanding of how others feel. This is portrayed by how Hamlet waits for the right moment to kill King Claudius and how he insures his feelings whether the ghost he saw was telling the truth or a lie. This sililoque of Hamlet's by Shakespeare is able to convey the true nature of a man and how he feels when hurt by loved ones. This sililoque contains a lot of pain that a person has endured over a period of only a few months.

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