Revenge in Hamlet

Essay by white_eskimoHigh School, 10th grade May 2004

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Justin Wickett

English 102


Revenge in Hamlet

Throughout the play Hamlet, the most intriguing theme is the belief of revenge. In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, he portrayed a Jewish character throughout the play as someone who is bloodthirsty and can only think of gaining revenge on those who have wronged him. In Hamlet, Hamlet, a Christian, is just as blood thirsty about seeking revenge as Shylock the Jew is in The Merchant of Venice. The part of the play that I found the most intriguing was when Hamlet's father's ghost appeared to him and told Hamlet that he must seek revenge upon his uncle so that he could exit limbo and rise to heaven. Hamlet, a Christian, takes what his father has told him very seriously and does not think of the consequences for himself. Although is said in the Bible, "But if you do not forgive men of their sins, your Father will not forgive you of your sins" (Mt 6:16), Hamlet believes that it is his duty to take revenge upon Claudius. However, although Hamlet's father's ghost will rise to heaven, if Hamlet does kill Claudius, he will have sinned and he will not be allowed to enter the Kingdom of God according to the Christian religion. By telling Hamlet to only seek revenge on his uncle and not his mother, Hamlet's father is just using Hamlet at Hamlet's expense so that he may enjoy heaven. Because of Hamlet's addictive personality and his low intelligence, Hamlet immediately falls into the trap, not realizing what is to become of him if he were to kill Claudius. Although Christianity does not support, it Hamlet is brainwashed by his father into believing in the idea of retributive justice, the notion that sin must be returned...