Billy’s Hate

Most are familiar with William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It is the story of a Danish prince who returns home to find his father murdered, and his uncle has taken the throne, and married his mother. 

Hamlet suspects that his uncle murdered his father by pouring poison into his ear, so Hamlet plots revenge. 

Of course it is Shakespeare, so everyone dies, but the play is interesting considering all the twists and turns that lead up to the deaths. 

I have been long fascinated by the depth of Hamlet’s hate and need for revenge.

Hamlet goes to kill his uncle Claudius, but finds him praying alone in the chapel. No guards, it will be an easy kill. 

Since he believes that killing Claudius while in prayer might send Claudius’s soul to heaven, Hamlet considers that it would be an inadequate revenge, and decides to wait. 

Surely Claudius will forget about his repentance, and once again live in his sin. Better to kill him then.

All this hinges upon Hamlet’s belief in God, and God’s judgement. Otherwise, there is only death, and better to kill him right away before he does anymore damage. 

But Hamlet longs for a revenge that is eternal, not the quick death that he could give with his dagger. 

Taking one life is like killing a nation. This encapsulates a traditional Jewish view of the serious nature of the willful act of murder. 

We have all considered the impact of a senseless murder and the impact it has on family and friends. 

Often in our culture there is an issue where the individual responsible for the crime is found to be a societal victim. 

There are valid issues where we have failed our youth, and the consequence of that failure is to create two victims. The issue is whether we own the responsibility of our actions.

Have we been given the training? Have we given the opportunity to learn and change, or have we left our youth to be raised by wolves? Can we expect behavior that isn’t savage in those cases?

Before I go too far down this road, I want to state that I believe that even if choices are narrowed, there still is a choice. 

Should we feel sorrow that Claudius was not the “favored” son, and had a lifetime of not measuring up? Hah!

No, Claudius made a poor choice and deserves God’s judgement. It is possible that his power could cause him to escape man’s judgement, except for Shakespeare and Hamlet. 

All this to say that I have a new found understanding of the seriousness of murder. Not only does a willful act of violence deprive a family of a loved one, a father, a sister, a friend. It also may, generationally, deprive the world of a nation.
And now, a new thought, it may deprive an individual of their eternal rest with God, if they believe, but haven’t repented. 

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
This entry was posted in Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s