A Comparison Of Revenge In Shakespeare's Hamlet And The Modern World

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Analysis of Revenge in Shakespeare 's Hamlet and the Modern World Throughout Hamlet there is an ever-present theme of revenge that leads the characters who seeks it to their ultimate demise. Prince Hamlet is the first character in the play to seek revenge, namely upon his own uncle. In the act of avenging his father, Hamlet kills Polonius, the father of Laertes. This makes Laertes feel the need to avenge his father by killing Hamlet. Much like in the play, revenge is ever present in today 's society. For instance, many are in favor of the death penalty so that the perpetrator of the crime repays the debt they have to the victim of the crime. The most recent act of revenge seen in our society, however, is a law Texas has recently put in…show more content…
Hamlet’s plan to avenge his father’s death led to his own mental and physical demise. When his father’s ghost visits him, Hamlet learns that his father was murdered. In response to his son’s grief, he requests that his death be avenged by murdering the one who killed him- his own brother (Shakespeare, trans. 1864, 1.5.745-79). Upon hearing this information, Hamlet agrees to proceed with the request his father has made. This is the true beginning of Hamlet’s mental demise, because not only did he listen to a ghost, but he became willing to murder a family member, let alone his uncle. No sane person would do such an act, even in a state of grief similar to that of Hamlet’s. Following the events in scene one, Hamlet develops a plan that involves him acting insane. When his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive to the castle, Hamlet has fully excelled into acting insane by saying random comments in regular conversation, such as “I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly I/ know a hawk from a handsaw.” (Shakespeare, trans. 1864, 2.2.1460-61). As stated previously, Hamlet has a prior background with mental instability, and his “acts” of insanity could essentially be his true self, unsuppressed. The comments he makes when “acting” crazy allowed him to slip further into mental illness by pretending to be much more insane than he already was. Throughout the play and leading up to the murder of his uncle, Hamlet wound himself in an array of unfortunate…show more content…
The Senior Program Officer for Criminal Justice at the Ford Foundation, Tanya Coke, explains that the murderer of her sister was sentenced to the death penalty, which made her feel counterintuitive for killing another human, just because they had killed someone else. She also stated that the death penalty did not offer what grieving families need (Coke, 2016). This woman felt the exact opposite of what the death penalty was supposed to offer her family- closure. In the act of revenge to make her sister’s death equal, she felt the burden of grieving the loss of two people: her sister and the man that was killed because of his crime. Retired corrections officer, Semon Frank Thompson, agrees that capital punishment is not effective or constructive, and thinks our society would me much healthier if it did not exist (Thompson, 2016). Thompson states this with hindsight, and with knowledge of working in the environment that capital punishment takes place in, thus justifying that capital punishment really does hurt our society more than it helps it. The Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on the Responsibility to Protect, Ivan Šimonovi´c, explains that if it is morally wrong for one to kill, why is it okay for one to kill on behalf of the state? He also argues that the social cost of the revenge for
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