Hamlet's Revenge Tragedy Through Imagery, Symbolism And His Character Development St.Joseph Essay

2200 words - 9 pages

Revenge by definition means “the action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.” If there is one thing that has been dominant in society, it is the concept of revenge. Everyone has a moment in their life where someone does them wrong, and they would go to any extent to get back at the person who is responsible. While the reaction is completely normal, the results of actually acting on these feelings usually end badly for everyone involved. In Shakespeare’s theatrical works of “Hamlet”, it is the murder of the Old King that resulted in a revenge tragedy, the eldest son Hamlet is called to overcome many obstacles in order to seek the rightful revenge for his father’s death. Shakespeare’s use of symbolism and imagery further develops this theme of revenge. The appearance of the ghost was a great inspiration of the Elizabethan Era, its role was crucial as the appearance of the ghost influenced Hamlet’s decision, driving the play into a vengeful climax. Lastly, the use imagery serves to constantly remind the reader of the initial conflict in the play, that is, King Hamlet's poisoning by his brother, this becomes the driving force in developing the motif of revenge. The theme of revenge is defined through the development of Hamlet’s character, the use of symbolism and imagery.
Hamlet feels the duty to revenge his father’s death after being informed of the foul play that led to the murder of Old Hamlet, the desire to seek revenge is illustrated through the obstacles that Hamlet must face in order to come into terms with his revenge plot. Hamlet is a moral man whose values and beliefs hinder him from moving forward to seek vengeance, as he is not a natural killer he cannot complete his goal. His inability to act is a result of an unbending moral character and his inability to accept his own fate. As the reader interprets Hamlet’s soliloquies, it reveals the struggle he faces between the obliged task to murder Claudius and his own moral orders "O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt,/ Thaw and resolve itself into a dew,/ Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd/ His cannon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!" (I.II.129-132) This quote defines why Hamlet is so reluctant to commit suicide, it demonstrates an example of Hamlet thinking so much that he cannot decide how to act. Hamlet as a Protestant is restricted from committing suicide as it results in an eternal sin, this same sin is also present in committing a murder. This dilemma that Hamlet faces reveals his inevitable fate by avenging his father, this unmasks his indecisive nature when he must make decisions that he believes will have a large impact on him in the future. Hamlet's actions and feelings are controlled by his morality. His morality grows weaker as the play progresses, this result in the audience experiencing Hamlet’s act of being mad. The only way Hamlet can bring himself to surpass his religious estrangement is to have substant...


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