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Paper Topic:

Hamlet - The relationship between parents and children; role of revenge, revenge plots.


Instructor 's name


12 December 2007

Hamlet - The Revenge Plot in Relation to Hamlet 's Relationship with his Parents


Hamlet is regarded by many as William Shakespeare 's finest and most profound tragedy . The plot contains all the ingredients needed for the perfect revenge saga . It includes a troubled protagonist , a dastardly villain who commits a heinous crime against the hero 's family , illicit sexuality , political intrigues , poisoned love , madness , and ultimate retribution . The finely crafted revenge plot serves as the foundation from which

Shakespeare offers vivid glimpses into the often convoluted bonds that exists between parents and children by portraying Hamlet 's turbulent and fractured relationships with the mother and father - figures in his life

A Mother 's Love

Hamlet is devastated following the death of his beloved father and his melancholy is heightened following his mother , Gertrude 's remarriage to Claudius . Set on the path of vengeance by his father 's ghost , his inner turmoil is further exacerbated . Stripped of his mental defenses , dark desires and forbidden thoughts , long suppressed come to the surface This state of affairs provides an insight into the intense , twisted love he bears for his mother . The disillusionment he suffers on account of Gertrude 's perfidy extends to women in general and his love , Ophelia in particular and he laments .Frailty , thy name is woman (Shakespeare 75 . Hamlet 's preoccupation with his mother causes him to view the innocent Ophelia with diseased eyes and his subsequent cruelty leads to her death and eventually his own

In a heated confrontation with Gertrude , Hamlet dwells masochistically on her sexuality and bombards her with the intensity of his passion accusing her of being In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed / Stewed in corruption , honeying and making love / Over the nasty sty - (Shakespeare 149 . Impassioned outbursts such as these remind one of the Oedipus complex described by Freud . It appears that Hamlet 's partially resolved feelings of sexuality towards his mother have come undone following his father 's death and her remarriage . This viewpoint sheds light on Hamlet 's excessive manifestation of grief for the deceased King

The King 's Ghost

It may be surmised that Hamlet 's unnaturally prolonged outpouring of grief for the dead King may stem not only out of love and respect for a beloved parent but from the realization of a subconscious desire for his death . Consequently his fervent declarations of love and respect seem tinged with terrible guilt . His of his father , A combination and a form indeed / Where every god did seem to set his seal / To give the world assurance of a man (Shakespeare 148 ) seems to be an attempt on the young Prince 's part to make amends for the ill feeling harbored towards the King while alive . Therefore , the King 's ghost haunts him in more ways than one and prods him when he delays in taking revenge , Do not forget . This visitation / Is to whet thy almost blunted purpose...

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