Revenge os Scruples? Hamlet

Essay by Anrew BrianUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 1996

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Revenge or Scruples?

"'Vengeance is mine,' sayith the Lord". What does this mean? I

believe what the Christians meant it to mean is that we, as humans, have no

right to seek revenge, that only "the Lord" has the right to decide when to

take revenge. We say this, but do we follow it? No, I think not. We all try

to take revenge into our own hands, in one form or another.

Revenge is one strong theme that holds throughout "Hamlet". We see

Prince Hamlet try to execute a kind of private vengeance, an eye for an eye,

which is completely opposite of the Christian teachings. Hamlet is a man

who believes in heaven and hell and who feels that a man who challenges

divine ordinance will ultimately face judgment. We might look at the ghost

of the late king Hamlet as the part of us that wants to take vengeance into our

own minds.

Like the little voice in our heads that tells us to do something,

when in our hearts we know it is wrong.

When Horatio, Barnardo, and Marcellus tell Hamlet of their sighting of

the ghost, Hamlet agrees to join them that night and see if he can observe the

ghost firsthand and possibly speak with it. That night when Horatio,

Marcellus, and Hamlet sight the ghost, it beckons Hamlet to leave the other

two and speak to it in privacy. Hamlet follows, despite the protests of the

others, who fear it may be an evil spirit, disguising as King Hamlet in order

to gain their trust. Horatio suggests that it may lead him astray and then

'assume some other horrible form / Which might deprive your sovereignty of

reason / And draw you into madness...' (I, iv, 80-82). Hamlet insists on

listening to the...