Discussing themes in your work shows that you are no longer just thinking about Hamlet as if it was a true story. Instead you are looking at the play and thinking about Shakespeare's choices. The four main themes in Hamlet are revenge, madness, deception and family and sexuality.
Revenge is the initial motivation for Hamlet's transformation into anger and madness.
In Shakespeare's time, "Revenge Tragedies" were a popular form of entertainment for theatre goers. The Bible explicitly forbids revenge but human instinct often wants it.
Hamlet strongly desires revenge for his father's murder, but other concerns cloud the issue. For example, Hamlet has the chance to kill Claudius when he finds him apparently knelt in prayer. Hamlet hesitates because he fears that if Claudius dies while he is praying, he might go to heaven. Hamlet is determined that Claudius should go to hell for his betrayal and deception.
The uncertainty about the nature of the old King's death also confuses the matter. Hamlet feels unable to take revenge unless he is absolutely sure of Claudius' guilt. Hamlet fears that the Ghost is not his father but an evil spirit sent to tempt him to Hell.
Laertes' sense of revenge is much stronger than Hamlet's and Shakespeare contrasts the two. Laertes does not need to be convinced of Hamlet's guilt to take revenge. On hearing Hamlet's explanation for Polonius' death, Laertes declares that he is
"satisfied in nature". By this he means that he understands Hamlet's actions, but it does not stop him from fighting Hamlet in a duel with a poisoned and sharpened sword.
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