William Shakespeare's play Hamlet has a prominent topic of vengeance. In this play, young Fortinbras, Laertes, and Hamlet were all seeking vengeance for their fathers' deaths. Revenge motivates someone to behave rashly out of rage rather than for a reason. This theme is illustrated through several scenes. For example, when Claudius kills Polonius, who was acting as a spy for Laertes, we see that he has done something terrible and deserves punishment. However, even though he is King, Claudius knows that going against Hamlet will only make him look bad so he tries to escape. This shows that he is more worried about his reputation than about Laertes finding out what he has done.
Another scene where revenge plays a role is when Gertrude admits Claudius to her bedchamber. She does this because she wants money from him but also because she feels like he has wronged her family by murdering her husband. This indicates that Gertrude believes that if she gives Claudius money then he will leave her family alone. However, since he has already committed murder, she should have known that he would not keep his word. Thus, her motive for helping him is purely out of guilt.
In addition to these scenes, revenge is also discussed throughout the play. For example, one line says "to be or not to be: that is the question".
In his quest of justification for his father's death, Hamlet's primary purpose is vengeance. Later, Hamlet's soliloquy displays Hamlet's split sensibility and concern for justice, which slows his capacity to take action against Claudius. Initially, Hamlet lacks the willpower to act only for vengeance. But later he comes to see that killing Claudius would be unjust.
Justice and revenge are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Justice refers to correcting wrongs, while revenge is taking action against someone who has done you harm. Revenge can be taken by anyone who feels wronged, but only the state can bring about true justice. In the play, both actions are needed - revenge against those who have murdered King Hamlet, as well as a search for truth and justice.
For many people, including most actors, it is difficult to separate feelings from action. That is why it is important not to rush into decisions about revenge or justice without thinking through all their consequences. Only after considering all aspects involved can we reach correct conclusions about what should be done.
In the end, it is up to us to decide what role we want to play in bringing about justice or revenge. It is possible to go too far down one path or the other until we become ill with bitterness. However, without healing there can be no real peace.
Revenge is ultimately counterproductive. "The urge for vengeance is harmful and ultimately meaningless," Hamlet investigates. Even though Laertes eventually forgives Hamlet, he dies in his desire for vengeance. This demonstrates both the destructiveness and futility of seeking vengeance. Rather than bringing justice, revenge only creates more pain and suffering.
The play also explores the themes of mortality and human frailty by focusing on the characters' attempts to kill themselves. Both Laertes and Ophelia attempt to end their own lives but are stopped from doing so. Their deaths serve as a reminder that no one can escape death.
Finally, the play reveals how difficult it is to obtain forgiveness after committing a wrong. Hamlet cannot forgive Laertes until after his death, and even then not completely. However, Laertes has learned from his mistake and has been able to move on with his life. Only one person learns from Hamlet's mistake: Fortinbras. He takes over the kingdom after hearing about Prince Hamlet's murder. This shows that even when we try our best to right a wrong, others may still be hurt by our actions.
In conclusion, revenge is harmful because it causes more pain and suffering than the original crime ever did. Attempting to obtain revenge will always be futile because no matter what you do, someone will always be worse off for having acted unjustly.
In Hamlet, though, three primary characters are out for vengeance. First and foremost, Hamlet, Fortinbras, and Laertes all seek vengeance for their fathers' deaths. The most attention should be paid to Hamlet's revenge plan. He decides not to kill Claudius but instead sends him away to be murdered by his own soldiers. This shows that revenge isn't always bad—sometimes it can help resolve a conflict positively.
Secondly, Ophelia wants to punish her father's murderer. She refuses to marry Laertes, instead choosing to spend her time mourning Hamlet. Finally, Horatio plans to arrest Claudius and send him back to Denmark for trial. He believes this will give Hamlet peace of mind.
These three characters all have good reasons for wanting revenge against Claudius. However, only one of them gets the chance to carry out his plan. Hamlet decides to use his opportunity first, sending Claudius away so he can grieve in private. After this, Laertes gives up his plan because he realizes that killing a king would be wrong. Ophelia dies before she has the chance to take revenge, but Horatio makes sure that justice is done even if she couldn't do it herself.