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Comparing The Results Of Victor And Hamlet’s Choices

1575 words - 7 pages

Though the feeling of revenge is meant to motivate a person to retaliate towards someone who did them wrong, it often harms themself in the process. In the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley and the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Victor’s devotion to acting on his revenge leads to his death, while Hamlet’s refusal to do so leads to being killed by a man who does take action. This reveals that a person devoted to revenge causes their own death as well as the deaths of people who take too long to act. After Victor creates a monster a spurns it for his appearance, it kills several people close to him, including his brother, best friend and wife. Hamlet meanwhile, discovers via his ...view middle of the document...

Victor feels that because of his previous actions, killing Victor’s brother, the monster should not be rewarded with a wife. Instead, Victor reveals how much the monster’s murder hurt him and how he will take action to stop the monster from further murder. Hamlet, however, only delays his revenge when he sees his best chance at killing his father’s murderer. On his way to speak to his mother, Hamlet witnesses Claudius praying in a vulnerable position. Hamlet decides not to kill Claudius because “he is fit and season’d for his passage” (3.3.86) while praying and it would be “hire and salary, not revenge” (3.3.79). Hamlet identifies that because Claudius is praying, therefore being cleansed of his sins, he would only be helping Claudius go to heaven by killing him. Because of this, Hamlet delays his action on revenge by making the excuse that he does not feel this would be proper revenge. Unlike Hamlet, Victor does not save his revenge for a time when the monster is vulnerable, but for when the monster is coming to attack him. After witnessing Victor cease to create his mate the monster warns Victor about his imminent return on Victor’s wedding night, prompting Victor to prepare a retaliatory attack against the monster, who killed Victor’s friend Henry after the warning. In preparation of the monster’s attack, Victor constantly carries weapons with him “and by these means [gains] a greater degree of tranquility” (201). The fact that Victor is calmed down by his pending battle with the monster shows his desire to act out on his revenge and get even with the monster. At this point, Victor reveals his need to achieve his revenge, as he will not be at peace until he succeeds. Like Victor, Hamlet also anticipates an attack from Claudius, though Hamlet shows no desire to fight back. Hamlet knows he should take revenge, but still finds other ways to occupy his time as opposed to taking action. After returning from England, where he was sent by his uncle to be executed, Hamlet reveals to Horatio that Claudius had “thrown out his angle for [Hamlet’s] life” (5.2.66) and that it would be “perfect conscience/ to [pay him back] with this [sword]” (5.2.67-68). Hamlet realizes that after trying to kill Hamlet, Claudius deserves to be killed. Despite this, Hamlet talks to gravediggers and Horatio and fences with Laertes as opposed to taking revenge on the king. Even though they are presented with similar opportunities to act on their revenge, Victor chooses to act while Hamlet only finds reasons not to.
Victor’s constant decision to act on his revenge leads him to dedicate himself to acting, while Hamlet’s lack of action taken leads him to wait until he is already dying to take his revenge. After the death of his wife and father, Victor vows revenge on the monster and devotes his life to killing it. Considering suicide, he concludes that his “revenge [keeps himself] alive” (211) and devotes the monster “to torture and death… until [the monster] or [Victor]...

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