Revenge is first expressed as a duty to prince Hamlet in this Shakespeare book. This is clear when prince Hamlet is talking with the spirit of his father.  His father king Priam who was murdered so inhumanly by Claudious. He appears to Hamlet and tells him if he loves him, that it is also his duty to revenge, ‘so art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear’. Hamlet promises to revenge in order to prove his love for his father and asks his father’s spirit to narrate the story of his murder and then revenge will follow, ‘haste me know’t , that I, with wings as swift/ as meditation or the thoughts of love, /may sweep to my revenge”.  The desire for Hamlet to revenge is a personal motivation for his father’s love.

Revenge is also brought out in the form of payback for the actions done before. The Greeks are seen to make war on the Trojans because the Trojans had abducted beautiful Helen from the Greek Menelaus. This abduction leaves the Greek with anger and they always desire for revenge. This is evident when Pyrrhus kills king Priam in a narration given to Hamlet in Elsmore by a player.

Vengeance is expressed as an example of faults in men. Hamlettells Ophelia that “I am very proud, revengeful, and ambitious”. He tries to persuade her no to trust any man and that she should not marry. One fault is being revengeful as he points in that statement, he is probably jealous that Ophelia could marry another man instead of him.

The moral of king’s Priam and prince Hamlet is expressed as a connection of the mind and one’s conscience. This is because prince Hamlet knows well that if one does wrong against divine ordinance, he/she will ultimately face judgment. He looks forward to revenge knowing well that revenge is against the will of the divine ordinance.  This is what most people in real life tend to do, their mind suggests them to take an action which their heart knows well is not right.

Hamlet does not take immediate action to revenge for his father’s death. This is because he is not sure of the ghost’s motive. This shows that Hamlet is untimely on his missions. It also shows that he is persistent and that he measures his motives. He has insight. This is evident when he looks and sees how he would suffer before the eyes of people if he murdered the reigning king Claudius. He fore sees this because he did not trust the motive of the ghost. He must first find prove that Claudius killed Priam before he proceeds to revenge.

After promising his father’s ghost that he will revenge for his murder. Some of the opportunities he gets to execute his plan are under-utilized. This shows that Hamlet is hesitant in his revenge motives. He seems to wait until he realizes that he is right to kill Claudius. He hesitates because he is unsure if the ghost is indeed his father’s ghost. This also shows that Prince Hamlet is god fearing in that he does not want to do wrong without beingsure.

The story tries to show us how to control the urge for revenge. You must remember that the divine ordinance does not allow the act of revenge in the bible Romans 12:19 “beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the lord.” One should remember such things whenever the desire to revenge comes up in the mind. View it as a temptation or test of faith and then reconsider taking action in one’s hands and leave the issue behind and forget. We are meant to forgive and move forward.


Shakespeare, William, and Willard Farnham. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Baltimore, Md.: Penguin, 1971. Print.

Hummel, Rand. Turn Away Wrath: Meditations to Control Anger and Bitterness. Greenville, SC: JourneyForth, 2007. Print.


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