In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the constant theme of revenge is highlighted.
It underlines almost every scene of the play, but it also affects the story as a whole.
When reading the play, I chose to read the book with an archetypal analysis.
Carl Jung believed in a “universal consciousness” or an inherited collective memory that all humans are born with.
The content of this collective memory consists or archetypes or patterns formed by the repeated experiences of human beings during their entire history.
Throughout the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, these archetypes or patterns are very common and visible while reading.
Archetypal elements are used to emphasize the theme of revenge and justice.
POINT OF DIRECTION #1: IMAGERY
The element of imagery plays a major role throughout the play to emphasize the theme.
The ghost of Hamlet’s father is an example of imagery that contributes to making the theme of revenge plot evident.
The ghost of Hamlet’s father appears in the play in Act 1, Scene 5 trying to convince Hamlet to get revenge on Claudius because he killed him, and is meant to thus avenge his father’s death
This symbol in the play emphasizes the theme of revenge because the ghost urges Hamlet to get revenge when originally he is unsure about it.
The theme of revenge is seen every time the ghost appears because he is trying to convince Hamlet to get revenge in order for him to feel justice.
The imagery of the ghost allows readers to see early in the play how revenge is a critical part in the play and how all characters want to seek revenge in order to receive justice in their lives.
The ghost is a critical symbol when reading Hamlet because it emphasizes the way revenge is seen throughout the play and how it is important when trying to understand Hamlet because it let’s readers see where the act of revenge started and the reasons why it started.
In Act 1, Scene 5, Hamlet declares, ‘Speak, I am bound to hear’, to which the Ghost responds: ‘So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear’ (1.5.10-11).
In this quote the ghost is saying that Hamlet must promise to revenge him too once he hears what he has to say.
This quote emphasizes the theme of revenge because it shows how the ghost initiates the start of revenge in the play.
This is important when trying to understand Hamlet because readers need to know why revenge is such a huge part of the play and where it all started, which is with the ghost of Hamlet’s father.
Another example of imagery in the play is fencing swords.
The actions of Hamlet makes Claudius and Laertes very upset which makes them devise a plan to act revenge on him.
Claudius wants to get rid of Hamlet because he is aware that Hamlet knows how he killed his father to become king.
On the other hand, Laertes wants to kill Hamlet because he killed his father, Polonius.
Ironically, this image symbolizes the karma that comes with Laertes’ and King Claudius’ actions in attempt to kill Hamlet.
As Laertes attempts to kill Hamlet with the fencing sword that has been poisoned, Hamlet also obtains the sword and stabs with it.
The swords are a symbolic part of the play because they symbolize the idea of death and revenge.
This piece of imagery is a crucial part to understanding Hamlet’s theme of revenge because the swords are used against the characters they want revenge against.
Without the use of swords, readers will not understand how much the characters in Hamlet want to get revenge on the people who hurt them in order to receive justice.
Therefore, the imagery in the play allows readers to understand Hamlet because it gives them a visual picture of what they are reading.
This proves that the archetypal element of imagery is used to highlight the theme of revenge and justice.
POINT OF DIRECTION #2: CHARACTERS
The characters throughout the play contribute to the theme of revenge greatly.
Hamlet is the tragic hero of the play who plays a big part in the theme of revenge.
Like I mentioned earlier, the ghost of his father wants him to take revenge on his uncle Claudius, which is what Hamlet decides to do.
Seeks revenge on hamlet for accidentally killing his father
POINT OF DIRECTION #3: MOTIFS
To conclude, the theme of revenge and justice is emphasized through the use of archetypal elements.
These elements are seen multiple times throughout the play Hamlet through the use of imagery, characters and motifs which allow the theme of revenge to be evident.