He therefore has to manipulate Edgar and Gloucester to “grow” and “prosper”. Edmund clearly has his own motives and looks to cause a family feud because of his own self interests. It shows his selfishness but also his desire to steal his fathers land from him Edmunds wickedness eventually turns Gloucester against the innocent Edgar, with a vengeance to have him killed. This would lead the audience to believe that Edmunds actions are evil and that his character personify’s the typical Machiavellian, crafty theatrical figure in the
While speaking the ghost Hamlet asks, “O all you host of heaven! O Earth! What else?/And shall I couple hell?” (I.v.25). Hamlet does not believe the ghost until Act III, when Hamlet tricks Claudius into revealing that he is the cause of his fathers death through the use of his play, “The Murder of Gonzago.” Even though Hamlet knows the truth, he still has trouble acting on his thoughts. It seems that Hamlet does not want to extract revenge and he regrets promising the ghost that he will do so, “O cursed spite,/That ever I was born to set it right!
Don Pedro and Don John are both deceivers but while Don Pedro’s deceptions come from his desire to bring the lovers together, Don John’s deceptions derive from jealousy and spite. Don John, being the main antagonist, is made to be born outside of wedlock. Modern audiences watching this play may not understand why his character is the outsider that he is but Elizabethan audiences would understand that children born out of wedlock were largely presumed to be naturally evil. This is apparent in the language that Don John’s character uses because he often uses words that connote violence and death when plotting with his followers, Conrade and Borachio, to sabotage Hero and Claudio’s marriage. When inquiring how he could do this Don John describes what he wants as ‘the death of this marriage’ and in reply Borachio, his accomplice, says they will ‘misuse the Prince’, ‘vex Claudio’, ‘undo Hero’ and ‘kill Leonato.’ Although their words are not literal and they’re not really going to ‘kill’ Leonato, using words such as ‘death’ give very negative connotations and make the character sound like the villain he is.
Hamlet himself says, "That I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft." He thought about everything he was doing, and everything he was going to do. Hamlet did in fact act like he was mad, just so he could follow through on his plan to avenge his father's death. Hamlet acted like he was mad because he did not want to outright kill Claudius, because he would probably go to heaven, and Hamlet wanted to make him suffer like Claudius had made his father suffer. Hamlet also knew that he could not go around telling people that Claudius killed his father just because a ghost told him so.
He almost immediately begins planning his course of action towards revenge. Hamlet’s disgust toward his mother is only heightened with this news of murder, “O most pernicious woman! / O villain, villain, smiling damned villain!” (Iv.105-106). Old Hamlet’s ghost has warned Hamlet not to punish Gertrude with hell, but he does not seem to care. Hamlet has now taken this personal with his own desires for revenge, as well as his obligation to his deceased father.
Giles Fraser explains in his article that when Jo Berry wanted to seek revenge on Patrick Magee, the man who killed her father but reminds us that revenge is inflicting pain on others but only hurt ourselves. In King Lear Shakespeare makes it clear that Edmund is a Bastard, not just because the way he is born but the way he acts throughout the play. The audience understands the feeling you will get if you went to a party and your dad said “Oh, here is my son his mother is a harlot, but we had fun together so here he is” who would not be mad. Also with the bastard name that follows him, Edmund does retaliate with schemes states “Thou, Nature, art my goddess; to thy law, my service are bound. Wherefore should I, Stand in the plague of custom and permit, the curiosity of nations to deprive me,” (Shakespeare 1.2.1-4) so Edmund punish his father for the lack of respect he has gotten over the years.
The struggle to act upon his father’s murder is a key factor in Hamlet’s disillusionment with the world. The Elizabethan period was a time that demanded revenge and this is even true in our present time to some extent. An eye for an eye approach was considered socially correct which Hamlet initially suggests ‘May sweep to my revenge’. Since Claudius has become the new king, he is considered a false king and imposter to the throne by Hamlet and this leads to the collapse of the natural hierachy that was in place. He states ‘tis an unweeded garden’ alluding to the fact that a false king leads to corruption which finally leads to the collapse of the hierarchy.
He then comes up with a plan to have the actors put on a play that is similar to the Murder of King Hamlet. Hamlet assumes that if Claudius has a reaction towards the play, he is guilty. This soliloquy is important because it reveals that Hamlet believes that he is dull spirited, it also points out that Hamlet is frustrated at himself for not having killed Claudius yet. All Hamlet is thinking about for the duration of this soliloquy is Claudius, and how he killed King Hamlet. Toward the end, Hamlet comes up with an idea to know if Claudius is guilty.
Though his planned maneuver to murder his uncle Claudius, the contrast between his feigned madness and Ophelia’s true madness, and his ability change behavior around different characters that possess his trust, Hamlet’s true, rational condition emerges from beneath his veil of insanity. Hamlet is not truly mad because he is merely using the guise if madness as part of his plan to murder Claudius. After the ghost of old King Hamlet relates the dreadful story of his demise to the young prince Hamlet realizes that his abhorrence of his uncle Claudius is wholly justified. To avenge his father’s murder, Hamlet valiantly uses his keen mind to devise a plan that will confuse Claudius and lure his uncle into a false sense of security. Hamlet decides the best method of deception to trick Claudius is to pretend that he suddenly becomes a raving lunatic.
Through out the play, Hamlet has many opportunities to avenge his father's death by murdering Claudius, how ever there seems to always be something that give us the impression that Hamlet is holding back. There are many reasons as to why Hamlet might be delaying the revenge. It could be said that Hamlet fears the consequence of killing, or it could be that Hamlet didn't want to hurt his mother, or maybe its simply because one does not simply walk up to a king and kill him, especially if you're going to follow that up with It's ok, he murdered my father, the ghost told me so. One of the many reasons as to why he delays the killing could be that he is afraid of the consequence as to what will come after killing. It could be said that Hamlet is quite religious seeing that he fears his fait if murdering Claudius during his prayer, "Now might I do it pat, now a is a-praying, and now I'll do't - and so goes to heaven, and am I reneged.