“Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.” – Samuel Johnson. When an individual decides to revenge, they often doubt their own morality. In William Shakespeare’s famous play Hamlet, the protagonist, Hamlet faces emotional and physical oppression. He deals with the concept of revenge which is against his christian morality. But Hamlet is ordered to kill Claudius by his father’s apparition. Shakespeare illustrates that morality is a difficult concept to comprehend, causing an individual to be caught in a moral dilemma of rights and wrongs, eventually leading to their demoralization.
Hamlet is presented to us as judicious and civilized also he’s morally in the right, always taking precautions. Due to the death of his father, the old Hamlet, he’s really agitated especially because his mother, Gertrude remarried her husband’s brother, Claudius. How he feels about their marriage is demonstrated in his soliloquy,
“O most wicked speed, to post/ With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!/ It is not nor it cannot come to good/ But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue” – (1.2.156-159)
The marriage of such close relatives would have been regarded as incest in Shakespearean times. They showed a profound lack of respect for his memory since they didn’t even wait for Old Hamlet’s body to be cold in his grave. This is also the reason for his depression, “that the Everlasting had not fixed/ His canon gainst self-slaughter” (1.2.131-132) Hamlet is so depressed that he contemplates suicide, he thinks that life isn’t worth living and that there’s nothing that give his life meaning. But he hesitates to kill himself since he’s held back by his consideration of religious morals and beliefs. His uncertainty of what comes after death frightens him too.