Revenge in the Characters of Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

(Terry 1070)

The play Hamlet therefore reflects this complex change in the honor code and the way that personal elements were being integrated into the traditional view of honor. The characters of Hamlet and Laertes also show this complexity in their motives and actions. Terry points out that there was no clear distinction between the different honor codes at the time but that there was rather an overlapping of elements of the old and more modern views of honor. "Renaissance men had to cope with both an old, medieval code of honor and the tensions of new one, tensions that were created, to a large degree, by the contemporary insistence on the importance of the individual conscience."(ibid)

In terms of the play, Hamlet is duty bound to the traditional honor code that is imposed on him by the ghost of his father. In these terms he has no choice but to carry out the revenge instructed by his father. On the other hand he is also aware of personal and moral aspects - and struggles with these factors as the play progresses. This creates the tension within Hamlet and in the play as a whole.

Bibliography

Bradley, A.C. Shakespearean Tragedy Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.

Council, Norman. When Honour's at the Stake. London, 1973.

Corum, Richard. Understanding Hamlet A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Herz, Sarah K., and Donald R. Gallo. From Hinton to Hamlet: Building Bridges between Young Adult Literature and the Classics. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.

Hibbard, G.R., ed. Hamlet. Oxford: Oxford University, 1998.

James, D.G. The Dream of Learning: An Essay on the Advancement of Learning, Hamlet, and King Lear. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1951.

Littauer J.S. The Cracked Mirror: The Minor Characters. August 12, 2005. http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/lausd/resources/shakespeare/crackedmirror.html

Terry, Reta A. "Vows to the Blackest Devil": Hamlet and the Evolving Code of Honor in Early Modern England." Renaissance Quarterly 52.4 (1999): 1070. Questia. 15 Aug. 2005 http://www.questia.com/.

MacCary, W. Thomas. Hamlet A Guide to the Play. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Ralli, Augustus. A History of Shakespearian Criticism. Vol. 1. London: Oxford…

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography

Bradley, A.C. Shakespearean Tragedy Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.

Council, Norman. When Honour's at the Stake. London, 1973.

Corum, Richard. Understanding Hamlet A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Herz, Sarah K., and Donald R. Gallo. From Hinton to Hamlet: Building Bridges between Young Adult Literature and the Classics. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.

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