The Negative Consequences Of Revenge In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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When people lose a loved one, they often feel as though they need to seek revenge to make up for the life lost. They may feel that this will avenge the death or give them more peace to move on with their life. However, oftentimes people fear that revenge will have negative consequences, which prevents them from acting upon those thoughts. Shakespeare describes the thought process of people in these types of scenarios through Hamlet as Hamlet goes back and forth between wanting and fearing revenge towards his uncle, King Claudius, for killing his father. King Hamlet comes to Hamlet as a ghost to tell him to kill Claudius, but it takes Hamlet the whole play to finally fulfill his father’s wish since he fears the consequences of murdering the king of Denmark. This affects Hamlet’s mental health and relationship with his mother as he considers committing suicide as well as blaming his mother to help him recover from his father’s death. Through Hamlet’s anger towards his uncle, depression, and blame towards his mother in conflict with his fears of killing his uncle, having God mad at him, and hurting his mother, Shakespeare explains that people often desire revenge, but feel too fearful to fulfill it.
Claudius becomes king after killing Hamlet’s father and marrying his brother’s wife, establishing Hamlet’s negative attitude towards him throughout the play. The king also talks condescendingly towards Hamlet in multiple instances, making Hamlet more angry that his relative does not

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