do you feel that revenge on his father's life is the best thing for hamlet to do?do you feel that revenge on his father's life is the best thing for hamlet to do?

9 Answers

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reidalot | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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I agree that Hamlet is convinced of Claudius's guilt prior to hearing the words from the Ghost. He is emotionally torn asunder because of Gertrude's overhasty marriage and a murderer-uncle who tells him he would like to be 'Dad.' My advice would be to forget the personal revenge, focus on what is good for Denmark, and instead of staging a play where you think you can see Claudius's guilt, prove his guilt. Imagine if Hamlet had not died in the swordfight? Claudius would have been implicated in the murders of Laertes and Gertrude-certainly enough to put him away!

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Hamlet is angry at his uncle even before he sees his father's ghost and learns of the murder.  He is angry at Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia - Hamlet  has stopped trusting the world.  Killing Claudius will not solve that.  He can expose his uncle without involving his own sin in the matter, and would then be better poised to handle his other emotional issues.

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mjush | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Initially, one might feel duty bound to avenge death and perhaps revenge can cause some temporary relief of the pain of loss and the individual may feel better for the moment, but the actuality is that revenge does not change what happened and that pain and trauma does not go away. It does not change what originally happened. In fact, we might even argue about what specifically he was avenging. Was it his father's death or his mother's affair? Perhaps he did nto act out of revenge but out of hatred.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Revenge, in my opinion, is never a good thing.  Revenge usually backfires and blows up in one's face.  The motivation behind revenge is usually not well thought out or very rational.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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My answer has to be no. Hamlet is only speculating that Claudius killed his father; he doesn't know for sure. His ploy to get him to confess doesn't work. He needs to calm down.

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podunc | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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It depends on what you mean by "the best thing." If Hamlet wants to do what is best for his own personal well-being, planning and carrying out a murder is probably not the way to go. However, if his first priority is doing what is best for Denmark and the court, ridding a country of an evil, deceitful king may be a wise decision.

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furczyka | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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Revenge is always a tricky: Does it bring Hamlet's father back?  Of course, not, but we think it makes us feel better for a brief time.  Will Hamlet's wounds heal?  He will need time in order to trust again.In reply to #1:

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hamletislikethebest | Student | eNotes Newbie

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Yes. His father was un-timely and wrongfully killed by his own brother.  Due to his brother's selfish wants his life had been ended.  Hamlet knows this and is the only one basically, so nobody else is going to believe him or even think twice about it.  That is the only way.  Claudius deserves to DIE.