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Age of Enlightenment

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Social justice is a theme that is aptly revealed in William Shakespeares Hamlet and John Irvings A Prayer for Owen Meany. Hamlet is a play by Shakespeare that reveals lengths that human beings can go to ascend to power. Claudius kills his brother, King Hamlet so as to ascend to the throne of King of Denmark.

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After killing King Hamlet, Claudius quickly marries Gertrude, Hamlets mother and declares himself the King of Denmark. Hamlet is profoundly angered and saddened by the early remarriage of his mother to Claudius. Gertrude gets remarried to Claudius even before King Hamlet is buried. Hamlet is surprised that his mother is obsessed with Claudius and is not in a sorrowful mood despite the death of her husband. Claudius ascension to the throne denies Hamlet his rightful position of succeeding his father as King of Denmark.

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King Hamlets ghost is the one that reveals to Hamlet that Claudius killed King Hamlet. Hamlet even suspects that his mother is part of a conspiracy that led to the murder of his father. Hamlet is profoundly angered by the revelation and vows not to rest until he avenges his fathers death. There is a point it reaches where Hamlet contemplates murdering his mother on suspicion that he was part of the conspiracy that led to the Killing of King Hamlet. However, King Hamlets ghost cautions Hamlet about extending his anger to his mother. The rest of the play is about Hamlets quest for social justice that finally leads to the death of Claudius and his co-conspirers.

The play ends with Hamlet dead but having avenged King Hamlets death and having brought justice upon individuals who had caused his suffering.