Revenge In Hamlet

The Presence of Revenge in Hamlet

Revenge is a major theme in the Tragedy of Hamlet. In the play Hamlet, by

William Shakespeare, the theme of revenge is repeated numerous times
throughout the

play and involves a great deal of characters. Of these characters, eight are
dead by the end

of the play by result of murder which was initiated through revenge.
Shakespeare uses the

revenge theme to create conflict among many characters. Revenge causes one to

blindly through anger, rather than through reason. It is based on the
principle of an eye for

an eye, but this principle is not always an intelligent theory to live by.
Young Fortinbras,

Laertes, and Hamlet are all looking to avenge the deaths of their fathers.
There are three

major families in the Tragedy of Hamlet. These are the family of King
Fortinbras, the

family of Polonius, and the family of King Hamlet. The heads of each of these
families are

all slaughtered within the play. Fortinbras, King of Norway, is killed by
King Hamlet; slain

by sword during a man to man battle. "our valiant Hamlet-for so this
side of our known

world esteem\'d him-did slay this Fortinbras." This entitled King Hamlet
to the land that

was possessed by Fortinbras because it was written in a seal\'d contract.
Polonius is an

advisor to the King, and father to Laertes and Ophelia. He is nosy and
arrogant, and he

does not trust his children. He is killed by Young Hamlet while he is
eavesdropping on a

conversation between Hamlet and his mother. "How now! A rat? Dead, for a

dead!" King Hamlet is the King of Denmark, and Hamlet\'s father. He has
killed King

Fortinbras, only to be killed by his brother, Claudius. "My offense is
rank, it smells to

heaven; A brother\'s murder?" Each of these events effects the sons of
the deceased in the

same way, it enraged them.

Shakespeare uses the revenge theme to create conflict between Hamlet and

Claudius. In Act I, scene 5, Hamlet is visited by the ghost who was his
father. The ghost

makes Hamlet aware of his murderous death when he tells Hamlet of how
Claudius had

killed him. The ghost says this to Hamlet regarding Claudius, "Revenge
his foul and most

unnatural murder." This is where Hamlet is first introduced to the
revenge plot between

himself and Claudius. Hamlet wants to insure that the ghost really was his
dead father

before he kills Claudius. To do this Hamlet has people act out the death of
his father in

front of Claudius and declares him guilty by his reaction to the play. "
O good Horatio, I\'ll

take the ghost\'s word for a thousand pound." Hamlet declares Claudius\'
guilt to Horatio

and now realizes that he must continue on with his revenge plot. The conflict

Hamlet and Claudius is delayed by Hamlet but does eventually occur in the
last scene.

Hamlet\'s mother has just died, Hamlet has been sliced by Laertes\' poison
sword, and

Hamlet has just struck Laertes with a fatal blow when Laertes says that this
was all

brought on by Claudius. Hamlet, now realizing that there is no more time for
him to delay

his revenge, stabs Claudius and kills him. Revenge was the motive for the
conflict between

Hamlet and Claudius.

Every one of the three eldest sons has one thing in common, they all want

for a slaughtered father. In the time in which this play is set, avenging the
murder of a

father was part of one\'s honor, and had to be done. All of the three sons

vengeance, and then acts towards getting revenge for the deaths of their
fathers. Young

Fortinbras is deeply enraged by the death of his father, and he wants revenge

Denmark because of this occurrence. Fortinbras wanted to, by force, regain
the lands that

had been lost by his father to Denmark. "Now sir, young Fortinbras-as it
doth well appear

unto our state-but to recover of us, by strong hand and terms compulsive,
those foresaid

lands so by his father losta" Claudius sends messengers to talk to
Fortinbras\' uncle, the

new King of Norway. He forbids Fortinbras to attack Denmark, and instead
convinces him

to attack the Poles to vent his anger. "His nephew\'s levies, which to
him appear\'d to be a

preparation \'gainst the Polack; But better look\'d into, he truly found it was
against your

highness. On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys, receives rebuke from
Norway, and, in

fine, makes vow before his uncle never more to give the assay of arms against


Laertes finds out about his father\'s death, and immediately returned home. He

confronts the King and accused him of the murder of his father. Claudius told
Laertes that

Hamlet was responsible for his father\'s death. He then decides to kill Hamlet
to avenge the