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Compare and contrast the different approaches of revenge between Hamlet and Laertes - Use reference from the text to support your answer?

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Introduction

Q1. Compare and contrast the different approaches of revenge between Hamlet and Laertes. Use reference from the text to support your answer? A1. Hamlet is a play written by William Shakespeare that very closely follows the dramatic conventions of revenge in Elizabethan theater. All revenge tragedies originally stemmed from the Greeks, who wrote and performed the first plays. In "Hamlet", the main character, Hamlet, is burdened with attaining revenge on his murdered father's behalf from the king of Denmark, King Claudius. Young Fortinbras, Laertes, and Hamlet were all looking to avenge the deaths of their fathers. They all acted on emotion, and this led to the downfall of two, and the rise to power of one. Since the Heads of the three major families were each murdered, the eldest sons of these families swore vengeance, and two of the three sons died while exacting their acts of vengeance, revenge is a major theme in the Tragedy of Hamlet. All three Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet had one thing in common, they all wanted revenge for a slaughtered father. In the time in which this play is set, avenging the murder of a father was part of one's honor, and had to be done. All of the three sons swore vengeance, and then acted towards getting revenge for the deaths of their fathers, but my focus is not on Fortinbras, its on Hamlet and Laertes. There were two major families in the Tragedy of Hamlet. ...read more.

Middle

Hamlet dies of his poisoned wound. Young Fortinbras regains his fathers land, without use of violence, or death to himself. Hamlet names him new ruler of Denmark before he dies, and Fortinbras regains all of his father's lost land, and becomes King of Denmark. Laertes was smart enough to react to the death of his father to an extent whereas Hamlet took a long time to act towards what he must do. Hamlet finds out the truth in the beginning about his fathers death but still he took four entire scenes to react although taking in consideration the other incidents that took place like the closet scene (Act 3 Scene 4). This leads to his downfall. Laertes on the other hand as soon as he found out what happened to his father immediately wanted and got revenge. Laertes unwillingness to listen and understand Hamlet leads to his downfall. Hamlet's delay of killing Claudius takes on three distinct stages. Firstly he had to prove that the ghost was actually telling the truth, and he did this by staging the play "The Mousetrap" at court. When Claudius stormed out in rage, Hamlet knew that he was guilty. The second stage was when Hamlet could have killed Claudius while he was confessing to god. If Hamlet had done it here then Claudius would have gone to heaven because he confessed while Hamlet's father was in purgatory because he did not get the opportunity to confess. ...read more.

Conclusion

His character, as the renaissance man, a thinker, means that he is aware that by killing Claudius at prayer he runs the risk of sending Claudius, not to hell, but to heaven. Hamlet and Leartes are both very different people with different lives, but as these men interact in the play we learn that there are many circumstances surrounding them that mysteriously connect them. Both these characters had some reason to avenge some circumstance in their life, but they all had a very different way of conquering the object of their hatred. Hamlet and Laertes are definitely great examples of typical revengeful characters in the best tragedy of the Elizabethan theater era. Hamlet is definitely one of the greatest revenge stories ever written. Hamlet tackled and conquered all areas that were required for the consummation of a great revenge tragedy. Revenge although thought to be unlawful and against the Church was absolutely adored by all Elizabethan people. " The Elizabethan audience always insisted on seeing eventual justice, and one who stained his hands with blood had to pay the penalty. That no revenger, no matter how just, ever wholly escapes the penalty for shedding blood, even in error." This was also a very important point that was also dealt with brilliantly by Shakespeare in finding a way to kill Hamlet justly even though he was required to kill Claudius. Hamlet was written with the mighty pen of Shakespeare who once again shows people that he can conjure up any play and make it one of the greatest of all time. Hamlet was one of the greatest of all time. 1 ...read more.

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