Revenge vs Justice Hamlet

Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, is a story of betrayal and deception. The main character Hamlet seeks revenge for the death of his father, but how he goes about doing that can be seen in two distinct ways; one way through Hamlet’s eyes, the other through Hamlet (and William Shakespeare)’s audience. Hamlet believes that he has no choice but to kill his uncle Claudius because Hamlet believes his uncle murdered Hamlets father so he could have Hamlets mother in order to marry her. This seems like a fair enough reason for Hamlet to want revenge on Claudius because it was Hamlets father who raised him since he was very young.

So in response to this Claudius poisons King Hamlets body so nobody can find out he is still alive. Hamlet then takes the role of king until his fathers death is avenged. Hamlet is urged by his father to take revenge on Claudius for killing him. Hamlet, slowly dying himself from poisoning, knows that time for revenge is near. He also knows that his mother will soon remarry and he cannot bear to see her with someone else so it seems like the right thing to do in Hamlets eyes would be kill his uncle which he does successfully.

This can lead Hamlet to view this action as justice because even though Hamlet hated what had happened to King Hamlet (his father) he loved King Hamlets spirit, integrity, and wisdom too much to let him suffer any longer; Hamlet viewed killing his uncle as Hamlets duty. However, after Hamlet kills Claudius another side of Hamlet is shown through Hamlets audience; everyone takes on the role of Hamlets mother because she was married to King Hamlet (the father) but then forced into marriage with Claudius (the uncle).

They view this action as revenge because Hamlet only marries Gertrude to further punish her for marrying Hamlets murdered father’s killer. Even though it seemed like a good idea in Hamlets eyes, nobody thought it was right for him to marry his own mother so they all felt more anger toward Hamlet instead of love and appreciation for giving them justice. Hamlet can be seen as either seeking revenge or justice. Hamlet views killing his uncle as justice because Hamlets father raised him and Hamlet felt it was his duty.

Hamlets mother and the audience feel Hamlet is seeking revenge because he married Gertrude in order to punish her for marrying Hamlets murdered father’s killer. It is clear that Hamlet desired vengeance against Claudius for killing his beloved father, but there are many questions with who Hamlet actually sought vengeance against; himself or others? It seems most likely that Hamlet aimed to seek vengeance upon Claudius, though this possibility can be called into question through Hamlets highly introspective soliloquy (a speech given by a character when they are alone) in Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet.

Hamlet looks at himself in the highest regard, letting his own self be picked apart by Claudius’ guilt; Hamlet believes that the only person who he has any right to blame for King Hamlets death is Hamlet himself. Hamlet believes that it was because of his actions that led to King Hamlets demise; if Hamlet had not acted absentmindedly towards Ophelia, then she would have never fallen into her turmoil and “accidentally” told Claudius about Hamlets plans of killing him.

This argument against Hamlet being a hero is supported when another character, Laertes, claims Hamlet deserves death just as much as they do because their father died due to Hamlets indecision and negligence. In all honesty, this seems like a plausible argument; Hamlet was not completely innocent. However, Hamlets motives and actions after the death of his father seem to support Hamlets side of the debate: Hamlet is a hero whom sought out justice for his father’s death. Justice is defined as “the maintenance or administration of what is just by law; the punishment of criminals and others who violate laws.

Revenge can be defined as “action taken in return for a wrong or injury. ” In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, justice would be Hamlet exacting revenge against Claudius with killing him due to him murdering his beloved father. For Hamlet seeking justice from Claudius, he would have been considered a hero because Hamlet desired vengeance upon King Hamlets true murderer . Hamlet attempted to gain justice from Claudius, but Hamlets own indecision prevented Hamlet from doing so resulting in Hamlets heroism being brought into question.

Hamlets actions and motives suggest that Hamlet was seeking justice through revenge upon his uncle for killing Hamlets father. Context: I am writing this article for my English class and it is due today (5/3). The prompt is “Hamlet: Revenge vs Justice” and we are supposed to compare the two dark theories of Hamlet; whether or not he is a hero or a coward. My argument will be that Hamlet was attempting to seek vengeance against Claudius with the intent of giving him justice by punishing him for his crime; hence why Hamlet is a hero. Hamlet’s indecision prevented Hamlet from being a hero, making Hamlet a coward instead of a hero.

In my article, I will include background knowledge about Hamlets motives and actions as well as quotes that describe Hamlets personality and the personality of each character involved in this conflict to support my argument with evidence from the play itself. In this section, I have listed some key terms and ideas that are important for understanding Hamlets situation: – Hamlet (the main character in Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”) is considered both a hero and a coward by different characters at different times; he is indecisive which often results in him hurting those closest to him such as his love interest Ophelia.

Hamlet aims to avenge his father’s murder, but Hamlets own indecisiveness and detatched behavior prevents Hamlet from doing so. – Hamlets soliloquy where he sees himself as the main problem for everything that has happened in his life because of Hamlets negligence towards others such as his people or Ophelia which caused her to go insane and die. In this scene Hamlet blames Hamlet because Hamlet states “for within a month– Let me not think on’t! –Frailty, thy name is woman! “

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