1289 words 6 pages
t With underlying themes of revenge, incest, and suicide, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet was remembered by many Elizabethan Era viewers as both a philosophical and oft-debated masterpiece (Dickson). These controversial themes attracted viewers everywhere, enticing them to see the play. One scene in particular from the original text of the play where this proves true is act IV, scene iv, lines 31-65, in which the titular character Hamlet decides that the time for revenge is at hand in an insightful soliloquy. The audience would have been attracted to the scene because they would receive a moral insight into Hamlet’s mind, revealing his true thoughts. It also would have expanded on the theme of revenge, and how this theme would affect the …show more content…

The audience, relating to Hamlet’s sense of confusion and indecision, will therefore hang on Hamlet’s every action from this point on in the play, concerned with how his desire for justification, as well as his indecisiveness, will affect what he does. Furthermore, the theme of revenge allows the audience to see comparisons between two main characters who seek revenge, Hamlet and Fortinbras, resulting in a better understanding of the theme in general. After passing the Norwegian army, Hamlet ponders to himself: Witness this army of such mass and charge Led by a delicate and tender prince, Whose spirit with divine ambition puffed Makes mouths at the invisible event, Exposing what is mortal and unsure To all that fortune, death, and danger dare, Even for an eggshell. (IV, iv, 46-52)
Although both desire revenge, it is clear the two princes are very different in nature. While Hamlet is slow to action, Fortinbras is quick and swift, even over an extremely dangerous matter with a reason "as thin as an eggshell." Through these characters, the audience is able to see how revenge comes in many shapes and forms, and even question how it may be present in their own lives; would one take immediate action like Fortinbras? Would one be unmotivated and indecisive like Hamlet? When in life have both of these traits been


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