Throughout the play of Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, revenge is a huge component. Multiple characters want to take revenge against others because of their actions. Two main plots of revenge include setting up King Claudius to predict whether he’s guilty or not, and also Hamlet’s “attack” on King Claudius. The Ghost speaks, declaring his father’s spirit, and states that he was murdered by Claudius. Nobody can hear him, except for his son, Hamlet, and he is ordered to seek revenge on the man who took over his throne and married his wife.
Hamlet comes up with a good idea to test his uncle’s guilt. He wants the players to preform a scene when Hamlet has to imagine his uncle murdering his father. Depending on how his uncle, King Claudius reacts, will show if there is true guilt there or not. In the theater, when the moment of the murder comes up, Claudius has to get up and leave the room. Both Hamlet, and Horatio think that this is enough to prove his guilt.
The Ghost definitely has a message that he’s been sending Hamlet: his father’s death wasn’t an accident. Hamlet is suppose to get revenge, however this causes major conflict when it’s with the King of Denmark, and the husband of your own mother. Revenge shouldn’t be too complicated, that is if you actually get it done. The complication for Hamlet, is when he doesn’t do it. He ends up going crazy and insane instead because he just puts things off for so long, which allows a lot of time to pass without any revenge.
Hamlet wants to kill Claudius and knows that’s what he “needs” to do, however he finds a good reason not to. When Hamlet has the chance to get his revenge, he notices that Claudius is praying. Hamlet decides that he doesn’t want to murder someone while they are in the middle of praying because he thinks that will allow Claudius’s souls go straight to heaven, and of course, he wants him going to hell; not living the good afterlife. Revenge to Hamlet is not just killing someone, it’s making sure they suffer, therefore he chooses to wait until he can catch him doing something more sinful.
The Ghost says, “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” Hamlet replies, “Murder!” Then the Ghost says, “Murder most foul, as in the best it is; But this most foul, strange and unnatural.” Hamlet says, “Haste me to know ‘t, that I, with wings as swift as meditation or the thoughts of love, may sweep to my revenge.” (Act 1 Sc 5) In this quote, Hamlet is willing to “sweep” to revenge, as in get it done right away. The Ghost, as we know is the Old Hamlet, describes it as a “foul” and “unnatural” murder, which makes Hamlet want to seek revenge even more. This may be hard for Hamlet to do, considering he takes so long to do anything.
The Ghost also says, “O, horrible! O, horrible! Most horrible! If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not; Let not the royal bed of Denmark be a couch for luxury and damned incest. But, howsoever thou pursuest this act, taint not thy mind, nor thy soul contrive. Against thy mother aught: leave her to heaven and to those thorns that in her bosom lodge, to prick and sting her. (Act 1 Sc 5) You can tell that the Ghost is concerned with the incest that is going on between Gertrude and Claudius, but more importantly, he tells Hamlet to keep her out of the revenge plot. When he says, “leave her to heaven”, he wants Hamlet to just let her be. Hamlet will have an extremely difficult time doing this because throughout the entire play, all he can think about is Gertrude’s relationship with his uncle. Instead of doing this, he should be taking action against Claudius, therefore getting his revenge.
Revenge is key in the play of Hamlet. Someone wants to kill somebody else because of how close they are, or someone may want to take revenge against Hamlet because of what he has done. For example, Hamlet accidentally kills Polonius, who he thought was Claudius. This makes Polonius’s son, Laertes, return to Denmark and seek revenge on Hamlet. Revenge is everywhere, and almost every character seeks it, which leads up to the ample amount of deaths that occur in the end of the play. Hamlet is the absolute perfect example of a tragic revenge hero.