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Unformatted text preview: Beadle 1 De Andre Beadle Mrs. Tinkler Ap-Literature 7 12/16/09 A Christian Moral and Philosophical Approach to Shakespeares Works Shakespeares high-quality plays: Macbeth and Hamlet never fail to elicit various interpretations and responses from a variety of readers. Reason being; the main characters are as human as we are, and are prone to excesses and wrong doing. Therefore it makes it easy to relate to them. A vast amount of Christian believers can decipher the theme of murder and its subtexts in both plays. I intend to analyze and critique Macbeth and Hamlet by using a Christian perspective and placing the emphases on the different representations of murder in both plays in a moral as well as a philosophical approach. In the tragedy of Hamlet," by William Shakespeare, the main theme of murder is carried out by the plans of revenge. So art thou to revenge when thou shalt hear (1.5.12) Hamlets father instructs him that he must be ready to avenge him. Death through murder is both the cause and consequence of Hamlets vengeance. Revenge causes one to act blindly through anger, rather than through reason. Hamlets quest to kill came from the contractual obligation he has to his father, to take retribution on the man who murdered his father, stole lives, the crown of Denmark, and the queen. In the time in which this play is set, avenging the murder of a father is part of a sons honor, and has to be done. Hamlet swore vengeance, and then acts toward avenging the death of Beadle 2 his father. "That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain...so, uncle, there you are. Now to my word (Hamlet 1.5.115)". He believes that now is the time to deal with the vow he made to his father. He proceeds to try and prove his uncle's guilt, and finally kills him while he himself is dying the poisoned wound inflicted by Laertes during their duel. David Scott Kastan currently a Yale English professor, obtained his B.A. at Princeton University and his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, exhibits in Hamlet and the Imitation of Revenge that Hamlet had an obligation to avenge his father. He is his fathers son and name-sake, and thus is he bound to hear and finally bound to revenge (I.v.7,8), bound to his father and his fathers cause. For Hamlet, however, to accept the filial obligation sounded in his name is to disregard and dismiss all other relations he has established. His filiation becomes a diminution. He would only the son, sworn to remember and revenge his father (Kastan 111). Revenge is the driving force behind Hamlet and leads to his downfall. Revenge is based on the principle of an eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (Exodus 21:24), but this principle is not always an intelligent theory to live by. Although the idea of revenge is not particularly Christian in ethic, it can be considered Christian because evidence of revenge is found in the Old Testament. considered Christian because evidence of revenge is found in the Old Testament....
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