• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Three young men in search of revenge." This sentence is the clearest way the play "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare can be summarised.

Extracts from this document...


"Three young men in search of revenge." This sentence is the clearest way the play "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare can be summarised. As the entire chain of events take place, it becomes clear that the play can have either three or no revenge plots because they are closely related. "Hamlet" cannot exist without the revenge plots of the characters. Thus "Three young men in search of revenge." provides an adequate view of the play. Apart from very few exceptions, the plot and the main theme of a literary work is directly linked to the main character. Hamlet does not stand as an exception to this. Prince Hamlet is the protagonist and his search of revenge is naturally the main plot of the play. However, the successive events that occur throughout the play cause the existence of two more avengers: Fortinbras and Laertes. As the story unfolds, it is seen that King Hamlet is secretly murdered by his brother Claudius by poisoning. Hamlet suspects Claudius of murder, and this suspicion of his is verified by the appearance of the ghost of his father to him. The Ghost tells the whole story to Hamlet who then decides that his suspicions have been true, and is ordered for revenge. The murder of King Hamlet is not the only reason for Hamlet to seek for revenge. ...read more.


Accidentally he kills Polonius when he suspects of espionage when he is in his mother's bedroom telling her what to do. With the assumption that the spy behind the curtain is Claudius, Hamlet starts stabbing without looking at the suspect. Leaving a dead body behind but having no improvement in his plot, Hamlet gains one enemy unknowingly. As can be seen, from the point of King Hamlet's murder to Polonius' murder, it has always been Hamlet's plots for revenge that carried the play. Starting from then, Polonius' son, Laertes comes back to Denmark to find the murderer of his father. Claudius, seeming as innocent as a virgin is, supports and encourages Laertes to kill Hamlet, as Claudius has already learned that the murderer was Hamlet. This is the beginning point of Laertes' revenge plots. Contrary to Hamlet's, Laertes' revenge plot has specific and detailed plans of what should be done and how Hamlet should be killed. Laertes, as being one of the minor characters compared to Hamlet, does not interact much with the other people as Hamlet does. This provides an ultimate agreement within himself and he directly initiates his plans without leaving any time for thinking like Hamlet did. Fortinbras, having problems not with specific people but with the governor of Denmark, proves himself as a witty commander. ...read more.


An open insult and direction of hatred against Claudius is observed in this soliloquy, as well as the weaknesses of women in general. The fact that Hamlet did not have complex plans to kill his enemy like Laertes did. This limits the number of pieces one can find in Hamlet about Hamlet's plans against Claudius. On the other hand, Laertes' intention is observed clearly: "Laertes: How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with. To hell allegiance, vows to the blackest devil, Conscience and grace to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation. To this point I stand, That both the worlds I give to negligence, Let come what comes, only I'll be revenged Most thoroughly for my father."1 Easily seen, this shows Laertes' lust for revenge after his father's death and supports the idea that Laertes' actions which will unquestionably affect Hamlet's actions, and start the chain2 mentioned all over. All the minor characters are directly linked to the avengers. None of the events could have occurred the same way they did if it were not for the avengers. Finally, according to all the points and aspects of the play "Hamlet" mentioned above, as all the three avengers are closely linked to each other and forming a chain, the sentence "Three young men in search of revenge." is sufficient to describe the play.? 1 Shakespeare, W. "Hamlet" Act 4 Scene 5 Lines 130-136 2 ´┐Żelik, K. "Either Three or None" p.3 par.2 ´┐Żelik 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Hamlet - It's hard to define what revenge actually is.

    3 star(s)

    (I think that this is evidence to show that Claudius' character is quite daunting for Leartes to think that he killed him straight away.) 'O vile King, give me my father'. Claudius and Gertrude quickly tell him that Hamlet killed his father and Leartes compares Hamlet to 'the blackest devil' which shows us his hatred for him.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Explore how Shakespeare examines the theme of revenge in Hamlet.

    3 star(s)

    The scene is vital to the main plot as Claudius storms out and in scene iii Hamlet sees him praying to God - a confession is heard and confirms the audience's belief that Claudius is in fact guilty. Hamlets morals are challenged.

  1. Scene by Scene - Hamlet.

    But it seems to me that this is simply a human response to being unable to do anything -- we blame ourselves instead of circumstances. Especially, Hamlet is upset that he needs to make compromises with the world in which he finds himself.

  2. Comparing the revengers Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet.

    Unlike Hamlet, much like Fortinbras, Laertes is a man of action; he has no scruples and needs no corroborative evidence to support his courses of action. On his return to Denmark he is quickly standing before the King, accusing him of the death of Polonius.

  1. Critical review of 'Hamlet'

    For the first time he is not Hamlet's son or Prince Hamlet he has become a person. He claims identity and veers away from the fact that he just succeeds his Father. It continues in Act five Scene two when Hamlet uses a royal plural of 'we'.

  2. Explore how Shakespeare examines the theme of revenge in Hamlet.

    The irony of this is that Claudius felt so trapped in this guilt he is unable to 'make assay' and pray. He has to ask his 'stubborn knees' to bend as he is so deep in his guilt. This shows the audience that Hamlet could indeed of killed Claudius and

  1. Catch 22 - Act Three Scene Three of Hamlet.

    After giving orders for Hamlet's death, he starts his soliloquy. The fact that it took the disturbing portrayal of a virtuous king's death to prompt such emotions of penitence and guilt, emotions that most would have felt immediately after a murderous act, speaks volumes of Claudius' character.

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    A scheme might easily have been formed, to kill Hamlet with the dagger, and Laertes with the bowl. The poet is accused of having shewn little regard to poetical justice, and may be charged with equal neglect of poetical probability.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work