Hamlet Essay, Research Paper
The Unbelievable Yet Predictable Tragedy
Hamlet by William Shakespeare illustrates foreshadowing
through its characters to keep the reader interested
throughout the play. An example of foreshadowing is
Hamlet?s depressed state of mind which foreshadows his
motivation to find out the truth about his father?s death.
A second example of foreshadowing is when Hamlet?s father
comes to him as a ghost and informs him about his murder,
this causes rage within Hamlet that foreshadows his revenge.
A third example of foreshadowing is when Hamlet asks the
players to perform ?The Mousetrap? which might prove
Claudius? involvement in King Hamlet?s murder and
foreshadows Hamlet?s revenge. Another example is Hamlet?s
sudden unusual behavior towards Ophelia which foreshadows a
fatal outcome for the lovers. Finally, the concluding
example is Laertes? anger and pain towards his father?s
death which foreshadows his revenge towards Hamlet, his
father?s murderer. So these five examples of foreshadowing
keep the reader interested and eager to continue reading the
In the beginning of Hamlet there is an immediate
introduction to Hamlet?s grief and gloominess which
foreshadows his need for revenge. Hamlet?s lovely
personality and pleasantry were gone and he found himself
dissatisfied of the world around him. His world was falling
apart in front of him. His father?s death was a bitter wound
in his heart he couldn?t be forgotten. King Hamlet was an
excellent king who loved his wife, Queen Gertrude, deeply.
But Hamlet couldn?t understand how his mother who would
hang on [her husband]/as if increase of appetite had grown?
could forget about him so quickly (1.2.147-148). It seemed
to Hamlet as if they both loved each other immensely.
However, before Gertrude?s ?unrighteous tears/had left the
flushing in her galled eyes/she married? her husbands
brother (1.2.159-161). It was only two months after the
funeral and she was married. This hurt Hamlet a lot because
he felt his mother didn?t seem to love her deceased husband
as much as he loved her. She proved this by marrying his
brother which was considered improper to Hamlet and others.
Hamlet?s depression and madness were not only caused by the
death of his father but by his mother?s remarriage. His love
for his dear father motivated him to seek the truth. Hamlet
does find out the truth when his father?s ghost comes and
tells him he was murdered. So Hamlet has a mission to find
his father?s murderer and get revenge.
Another example of foreshadowing Hamlet?s revenge
occurs when he speaks to his father?s ghost. Hamlet had
heard from the soldiers who worked as night watchers that
they had seen an image resembling the king. The soldiers
said the King?s spirit would come exactly at twelve
midnight. They explained he was dressed in a full suit of
armor and very pale. Hamlet stood guard with Horatio and
Marcellus on the platform awaiting his father?s spirit.
Hamlet was in awe at the sight of the ghost and he couldn?t
help but be scared. He became relaxed as he noticed the
ghost, his father, was eager to speak with him. He wondered
why his father ?revisits thus the glimpses of the moon?
since his death (1.4.58). King Hamlet came to inform his
son he was ?stung by a serpent? and the ?serpent that did
sting [his] life/now wears his crown? (1.5.43,46-47). He
explained that his brother Claudius arranged to have him
poisoned in his sleep with the poision being poured into his
ear. Consequently, Claudius murdered his brother to gain his
brother?s crown. He told Hamlet if he loved him he would get
revenge on his murderer. This incident foreshadows Hamlet?s
revenge. Hamlet plots a way to have Claudius admit he
killed King Hamlet. His plan was to have the players
perform the play ?The Mousetrap? which was an allusion to
the truth. Claudius gets angry during the play which proves
he was the murderer. For that reason Hamlet eventually gets
revenge and kills Claudius.
Hamlet was obligated to his father to seek revenge on
his murderer which foreshadowed the death of Claudius. He
felt that the longer he waited to capture the truth and
bring justice to his father?s death he was dishonoring his
name. Therefore, Hamlet plotted a plan to make Claudius
confess. He asked the players to performed ?The Mousetrap?
which was really a way of solving the mystery of his
father?s death. The play was a story about the murder of a
Duke in Vienna. The Duke was murdered by a family member and
soon after the Duke?s death the family member gained his
crown. Hamlet selected this play since it was an allusion to
his father?s murder. His intention was to make Claudius
feel guilty as he watched the play so he would breakdown and
confess. Claudius becomes very angry and leaves and does
not continue to watch the play. Claudius was setup and got
caught in a trap which was laid for him. Hamlet?s
premonition that Claudius murdered his father was proven
with Claudius reaction while watching the play. This is
another example that foreshadows Hamlet getting revenge on
The death of Ophelia is foreshadowed by Hamlet?s
unusual behavior towards her. Hamlet showed Ophelia his
unconditional love through his acts of kindness. He showed
her his affections by sending her letters and pledging his
undevoted love to her. She believed his devotion of love
and felt the same way because he ?made many tenders/of his
affection to [her]? (1.3.108-109). His madness increased
after his uncle Claudius and his mother Gertrude married two
months after his father?s death. Ophelia described Hamlet?s
appearance ?as if he had been loosed out of hell/to speak of
horrors?? since he was so pale and dreadful looking
(2.1.93-94). After his father?s death and his mother?s
marriage Hamlet?s depressed state of mind caused him to
neglect Ophelia. Therefore, she felt very lonely especially
since her father, Polonius, was murdered by her lover. Her
lover?s neglect, her brother?s absence and her father?s
death caused her to go mad. She just needed to be
comforted. The lack of love she received caused her madness
which left her with no other choose but to take her own life
Laertes? rage towards his father, Polonius? death
foreshadows his revenge towards Hamlet who killed Polonius.
Hamlet was sent to England by Claudius since he murdered
Polonius. However, Hamlet managed to return to Denmark to
finally get revenge on Claudius. Yet when he arrived there
was a funeral in procession. Hamlet noticed that the
funeral was for Ophelia his lovely maiden. He declares he
loved Ophelia more than ?forty thousand brothers? who ?could
not with all their quantity of love/make upon [his] sum?
(5.1.285-287). Laertes was full of grief as well and blamed
Hamlet for this so he seeked revenge. Laertes and Claudius
plotted a plan to murder Hamlet. Laertes challenged Hamlet
to a fencing match and Hamlet agrees. Laertes prepares a
poisoned weapon to kill Hamlet in guidance from Claudius.
By the end of the match Hamlet dies, Laertis dies, as well
as Claudius and Gertrude. Horatio is the only one living to
tell the story. So Laertes gets revenge on Hamlet for
killing Polonius and Hamlet finally gets revenge on Claudius
for killing King Hamlet.
In conclusion, these five examples of foreshadowing
keep the reader interested in wanting to find out the ending
of this tragedy. Hamlet is forced to seek revenge not only
for himself but for his father as well. Laertes, Ophelia,
and Polonius were innocent victims of Hamlets?
procrastination to get revenge throughout the play.