Hamlet Essay Research Paper The Unbelievable Yet

Hamlet Essay, Research Paper

The Unbelievable Yet Predictable Tragedy

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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

by drowning.

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.



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