Essay: Themes in Hamlet

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Essay: Themes in Hamlet

Sample Essay

Although there are several themes in Hamlet by Shakespeare, revenge is the most pronounced one. This is because several actors in the play conduct it. The protagonist in the play is Hamlet who is the first character to plan his revenge mission but due to his delayed acting, he ends up causing several other revenges and deaths of so many characters. (Strachey 13). Revenge is started by the first characters including Fortinbras who travels a very long way to Denmark to take his revenge, which he succeeds for he conquers Denmark.

Hamlet plans to revenge on Claudius once he learns from his father’s ghost that he was the one who poisoned him as the ghost says, “Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,/ a serpent stung me” (Hamlet 1.5, 36).  This is the start of the revenge mission by Hamlet since he has been upset by the acts of Claudius even before he knows that he is the one who has killed his father. Although he gets very angry and is determined to kill Claudius, he lacks the proof that it is true what the ghost claims and thus decides to prove it by staging a play about a similar death to that he understands his father died. He gets people to act and it is through this play that he realizes, Claudius is the one who killed his father. He is now determined to revenge by killing him but the only right time he gets the opportunity after the play is staged, he gets Claudius praying and fails to kill him. He wants him to get the worst kind of punishment for what he did but is sure that if he kills him when he finds him praying, he will make him go to heaven. This is what makes him have a second thought and decides to find some other convenient opportunity. It is in his argument with his mother after the play is staged that he feels that someone is spying on him, “How now?  A rat?  Dead for a ducat, dead! “ (Hamlet 3.4,25). He is sure that it is Claudius and feels that he has to kill him for his revenge to be complete but immediately after he stabs the spy to death, he realizes that he is Polonius, Ophelia’s father. Polonius death leads to the death of Ophelia who after a long period of mourning dies by drowning. This shows that Hamlet has been slow in his revenge and this is the cause of so many other revenges in the play.

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