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Hamlet’s Transition From Victim to Villain Essay

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Romans 12:19, from the NIV Bible, states “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). This verse emphasizes that one should not take revenge into his own hands, but rather let God handle it. God’s wrath will eventually catch up with those who do wrong, and it is not one’s place to seek revenge. By seeking revenge, it makes them the villain as well as the victim. Shakespeare highlights the victim becoming the villain in the revenge tragedy, Hamlet. During the course of the play, Shakespeare portrays Hamlet as the victim at first, but later becomes the villain when he murders his uncle to seek revenge for his father’s death. Hamlet’s Christian values kept him from seeking revenge all throughout the play until the very end. Some critics say Hamlet did not act on revenge because he was a coward; however, Hamlet did not act because he thought the ghost might be the devil, he wanted to make sure he had a reason to get revenge, and he knew the Bible says it is wrong to kill.
Although some people do not believe in ghosts, Hamlet did, and he thought the ghost might be the devil trying to get him to commit an evil act. In the play, Hamlet believed in the ghost, but then started doubting himself and thought it might be the devil. Hamlet declares, “The spirit I have seen may be the devil, and the devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape, yea, and perhaps out of my weakness and my melancholy, as he is very potent with such spirits, abuses me to damn me” (2.2.562-567). Hamlet wanted to kill Claudius because the ghost told him to, but then he began to think the ghost could be the devil trying to deceive him. Hamlet did not want to ...


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...ete. Web. 6 Feb. 2014.
Kastan, David Scott. “His Semblable In His Mirror: Hamlet And The Imitation Of Revenge.” Shakespeare Studies 19. (1987): 111. Humanities International Complete. Web. 6 Feb. 2014.
Madelaine, Richard. “Hamlet as Proto-Detective Fiction.” AUMLA: Journal of the Australasian University of Modern Language Association 117 (2012): 1-11. Humanities International Complete. Web. 6 Feb. 2014.
Nevo, Ruth. “Acts III and IV: Problems of Text and Staging.” Modern Critical Interpretations: William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1986. 53. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1992. Print.
Spinrad, Phoebe S. “The Fall of The Sparrow And The Map Of Hamlet's Mind.” Modern Philology 102.4 (2005): 453-477. Humanities International Complete. Web. 6 Feb. 2014.
The Bible. Print. New International Vers.



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