Justice And Revenge In Shakespeare’s Hamlet

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

The focus of this essay is the theme of justice and revenge in Hamlet By William Shakespeare. The major question at hand would be, did Prince Hamlet serve justice? The reason this question continues to arise as you continue to read it throughout the scenes is due to the word revenge. Taking a look at the definition of what justice is, “the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments”. If we were to look at the play now knowing what the definition is you would have to say no. There was not any form of justice served. Even though by definition it seems justice was not served, in the end justice had befallen to those whom wronged each other.

Throughout the scenes of this play, it seems the theme was getting revenge and ensuring that justice would be served to those whom have committed a filthy act. From the beginning of the scenes Hamlet becomes enraged once the Ghost comes to tell him the truth of how he died. Hamlet became consumed with the information. He then wants nothing but to retaliate against his Uncle Claudius for murdering the late King. Not only did he murder the late King but also now he is in control of the Kingdom. Which he believes should have been passed down, he also married his mother, which he sees as an act of incest. Hamlet had to confirm he had some sort of evidence that proves that his Uncle did in fact kill the late King.

As we continued reading through the play Hamlet is a man that thinks before he takes any action. It seems that until he finds the evidence he will not kill his Uncle and he goes as far as putting on a play to display to his Uncle that he in fact knows the truth. At that very moment his Uncle runs out of the play. Does Hamlet have enough evidence for his actions? To me, it does not show he did or did not. Also, was the King in fright of his life for someone to attempt to take his life instead based on the actions he witnessed in the play? This play represented that individuals that are out to avenge someone who was wrongfully murdered. The Prince attempts to kill his Uncle, but it seems he is having a hard time doing so. Laertes craving revenge of Polonius’s murder. He and Hamlet have a small quarrel at Ophelia’s funeral, which in the end lead to a sword fight. Even with the two of them wanting retaliation, Fortinbras also wants to avenge his father’s death by the late King and get back the lands that were originally his families, by doing so it will restore his family name.

They are all very different in their meaning of revenge and justice, Laertes wants to avenge his father and will do so not matter the cost and does not care if his actions are justifiable. Fortinbras will do what he has to in order to gain back his land lost by his late father; he is a man of vital exploitations of the events at hand. We can clearly apprehend that the Hamlet is like neither; he is only decisive at certain times. This is shown through the scenes, as he could not kill the King when he had the chance in the church due to him wanting the King to confess to the murder so it can be justifiable in his eyes.

The last seen pretty much sums it all up with the battle between the Prince and Laertes. They both want revenge but they cannot see past this pity fight and nobody else can either it seems. They are all out for revenge and all end up dying from to poison in the cup. Queen Gertrude dies, and then Hamlet runs off forcing the King to drink and follow his mother in death. Laertes dies as well, and then does Hamlet leaving Horatio is friend. To tell the events of the dreadful scene laying before them all to Fotinbras. 

To conclude the essay, it seems that some sort of justice occurred being that all are dead and got some type of revenge in the end. Even though by definition it seems justice was not served, in the end justice had befallen to those whom wronged each other. 

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