Essay On Revenge In Hamlet

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Throughout history, certain pieces of literature become irrelevant to the modern world. Moreover, the ability to relate to a modern day high school student is an especially difficult task that many novels of the past struggle with. However, there are a select few literary works that preach universal lessons, and stand the test of time. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is one of the few texts that effectively relates to teenagers of the past, present, and future. The struggle to recover from a tragedy, and the repercussions of revenge are two concepts explored in Hamlet which the vast majority of teenagers can relate and sympathize with. In short, because the concepts explored in the play pertain to the contemporary world, educators should continue…show more content…
As Hamlet expresses his anger at his mother, he hears a noise from the tapestry, and, thinking it is a rat, kills Polonius with his sword (3.4.24). Hamlet is overcome with revenge, and becomes easily irritable. As a result, he kills Polonius inadvertently. The fact that revenge overrides any rational instinct in Hamlet reminds students that vengeance causes illogical thinking, and, in turn, serious consequences. Removing Hamlet’s cautionary exemplar would significantly impede a teenager’s apprehension of a critical life lesson. Towards the end of the play, Hamlet finally receives his chance at revenge in the form of a fencing match against Claudius. Although he kills Claudius, a poisonous sword wounds Hamlet, and he exclaims that “O, I die, Horatio./ The potent poison quite o’ercrows my spirit”(5.2.352-353). Revenge distorts Hamlet’s mind to the extent that he challenges Claudius to a fencing match, even though Claudius is out to kill Hamlet. As a result, Hamlet dies, and, in turn, illustrates that revenge hinders logical decision making, and induces dire repercussions. In addition, Hamlet’s death, while an extreme case, exemplifies the need to teach the consequences of revenge to teenagers. Students need to learn that vengeance is a poor course of action, and Hamlet is an effective tool for teens to fully grasp the ramifications of

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