Analytical Paper Example on Violence in Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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Violence is a dominant theme in contemporary society given that many scholars and writers tend to focus more on such themes while developing their work. Importantly, society is a complicated platform where people would want justice from a different approach. In this case, one would agree that some people would rather take revenge in the case that they are exposed to social injustice (Shakespeare 123). Literature is the central writing material that exposes such a trend to revenge in the case that there is a social injustice. For instance, individuals such as William Shakespeare and Alex Kotlowitz have tried to incorporate such an understanding into their work. Importantly, the writers exhibit violence and revenge in their work through the use of characterization and specific scenes.

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How Does Violence Play a Motif in Hamlet?

In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, a king is executed through a deceptive plan by his brother. The play is significant in the case that Shakespeare uses the character Hamlet (who is the son of King Hamlet) to expose violence and revenge. Such an approach or writing style by Shakespeare gives the clarity of the expected human nature and deceptive ways. In Act I of the play, there is evidence that the king’s death comes as a preplanned thing. Evidence that points to such kind of reasoning developed in the case that his son comes from school only to find that his father had died and the only person that he would accuse (His father’s brother) is now the king. The events following the mysterious murder of his father are a pointer to the existing violence in the play (Shakespeare 215). As such, Shakespeare develops the act in a way that young Hamlet feels the need to avenge his father’s death.

Elements of Revenge Tragedy in Hamlet

There are various elements of revenge and deception that are clearly exhibited in such an act. Firstly, young Hamlet’s mother (Gertrude) is a deceiving character in the play that proceeds to marry the King’s brother without a second thought. Secondly, there is sufficient evidence in the play on the nature of human beings in the case that Gertrude plays the cunning character whose personality revolves around hutching devious plans against the former king of Denmark. An example instance is where she runs to the king’s brother (Claudius) to protect her from the King of Denmark (Hamlet). Such a scenario raises the moral question of the existing relationship between the three people (Shakespeare 189). How would a King’s wife have affection for her brother-in-law? Most importantly, why would she hatch a plan or collaborate to kill her husband? Such a dilemma forms the basis to justify that human beings have a nature that tends to contradict morality in the case that they resort to deception and violence. Evidence that supports such reasoning is the case that both Gertrude and Claudius pursue their dreams by killing King Hamlet. Importantly, they cover their actions with lies so as to continue ruling Denmark. In this view, one would agree the deceiving nature of the two characters falls in line with class reading to the extent that people would go to obtain personal interests.

Important Themes in Hamlet

Shakespeare uses the King’s son (Hamlet) to raise another important matter in his play. According to the playwright, there is the other nature of human beings who would want to pursue justice by executing revenge. This ideology is evidently displayed by young Hamlet, who pretends to be insane so as to obtain the truth about his fathers death. Importantly, he plays the dumb character so that he may investigate his killers without raising attention in the palace after suspecting his mother and his father’s brother (Knapman, William & Shimony 115). Additionally, a class reading on Blocking Transmission of Violence by Alex Kotlowitz explains the consequential effect of a changing society that is central to violence. Importantly, Kotlowitz brings to the attention that contemporary society tolerates violence in the case that modern society harbors violence of varying nature. Given such realization, one would agree that both William Shakespeare and Alex Kotlowitz are sensitive about the effect of revenge as a human attribute. For instance, the many instances provided by Alex Kotlowitz show the great extent of a damaged society that is engulfed by violence originating from various societal pillars. In this case, one can easily notice that people easily engage in violence on the grounds that they are avenging their loved ones.


Conclusively, there is sufficient evidence from the class material provided on the nature of violence within modern society. The case to argue is that people use deceptive ways to fulfill their uttermost desires. A point incases are the examples provided by Shakespeare in the book Hamlet, where a Denmark king is executed by his brother on grounds that his brother wanted to overthrow the King. Such an example shows that people evade the forthright approach of dealing with societal issues. More importantly, revenge is a common occurrence that triggers violence in many demanding circumstances where there is a conflicting interest or point of view.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P, 1968. Print.

Knapman, Timothy, William Shakespeare, and Yaniv Shimony. Hamlet. Irvine, CA: QEB Publishing, 2015. Print.

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