AP Lit P.5
8 January 2018
Hamlet’s journey through the coping of suffering is one cursed by the absence of resolution in avenging his father. Hamlet seeks to correct the wrongdoings of the injustice brought to his father by the spilling of blood, redefining the act of justice to one plagued by anger and more suffering. This new meaning of justice transforms the play’s morals into blurring the lines between good and bad. Hamlet’s character explores the undefined borders of justice versus revenge, showing the internal conflict between sensibility and justice in which Hamlet combines both forces to internally justify his revenge.
From the beginning of the plot, Hamlet shows himself too weak to act solely on the revenge for his father, admitting himself to be “unpregnant of the cause” and ponders if he is a “coward”. As the plot thickens, Hamlet’s chance for revenge increases, but he ceases to take action on each occasion. Hamlet becomes fed up with is internal struggle, exclaiming “Am I a coward? Who calls me “villian”?…I lack gall to make oppression bitter.”(Shakespeare, 203) This shows that Hamlet’s moral is stronger than the urge for just revenge, and it is not until he begins to be exhausted with his inaction that he truly ponders the guilt and conscious of Claudius. Hamlet addresses his internal struggle with his final exclamation for justice in his father’s sake, “And ever three parts coward—I do not know. Why yet I live to say “This thing’s to do,”. Sith I have cause and will and strength and means. To do ‘t.” (Shakespeare, 190) Hamlet’s insightful mind does not solve his father’s injustice, but instead creates complications and dilemmas as he exploits his own guilt in the fear of bloodlust.
Although Hamlet becomes responsible for three deaths in the play, his ability to overcome his conflict and avenge his father is seen as a heroic act, depicting Hamlet as a “prince that conducts himself with patience and caution” (Shakespeare, 203). Each character that attempts to seek revenge eventually is led into self destruction, such as Claudius or Laertes. But as Hamlet is killed, his death ends in a resolution for himself and his father as he finally follows through with his actions. This successful act of revenge shows the ability of justice within killing, that the intentions of one is greater that the wrongdoing. Hamlet is portrayed in the most positive light because of his self-reflection and his strength to overcome his doubt and avenge his father. Shakespeare allows he understanding of mistakes as they pertain to a blinding by anger and bloodlust, and how this contrasts with Hamlet’s thorough analysis of guilt and of justice.
Throughout the play, Shakespeare balances karma and fate with the deaths of each character and how sinful acts are eventually reconciled with the world. Hamlet’s potential to have a conscious within his revenge allows his death to not be karma, but instead a heroic ending to the disaster that overwhelmed the country. Hamlet’s successful justice, though cursed by overthinking and internal conflict, allowed his character to be courageous in avenging his father.