The lack of thought used in exacting the revenge led to the deaths of both Laertes and Hamlet. Laertes planned with Claudius to kill Hamlet with the poisoned tipped sword, but they had not thought that the sword might be used against them. With Laertes believing the King's accusations that Hamlet had murdered his father, he was in a blind rage, and would not listen to Hamlet's explanation and apology. "I am satisfied in nature…to my revenge…I stand aloof…and will no reconcilement…But till that time, I do receive your offer'd love like love, and will not wrong it.". He fights Hamlet, and wounds him once with the poisoned tipped sword; but unfortunately, their swords are switched, and Hamlet wounds Laertes with the sword. That is the wound by which Laertes dies. Hamlet had many chances to kill his uncle, but his rage outweighed his intelligence; and he chose to wait until the lord could see no good in Claudius, and then strike him down into a world of eternal damnation. "Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;…A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven." Hamlet waits until he can kill his uncle while he is performing a sin, unfortunately for Hamlet, the sin is the poisoning of his own son in law. 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. So Hamlet therefore decided not to murder Claudius at this point in the play. The third delay was the fact that he got side tracked. He accidentally killed Polonius, which created a whole new problem with the fact that Laertes now wanted Hamlet dead. After he commits this murder he was also sent off and unable to see the king for another few weeks until he could finally do the job. "What makes Hamlet stand out from many other revenge plays of the period is not that it rejects the conventions of its genre but that it both enacts and analyses them." It can be easily understood that Hamlet very closely follows the regular conventions for all Elizabethan tragedies. First Hamlet is faced with the fact that he has to avenge the murder of his father and since there is no fair justice available, he must take the law into his own hands. The ghost of his father appears to guide Hamlet to Claudius and inform Hamlet of the evil that Claudius has committed. Then Hamlet constantly delays his revenge and always finds a way to put it off until he finally does it in Act V, Scene 2. He sees his need to think things through before acting as a deplorable weakness. Even he can see hat he is being weak minded and indecisive. But even when convinced he can't kill his uncle deliberately, in a rage he thinks he has killed him, but it was just Polonius. Having proved Claudius' guilt, Hamlet now has to act, and yet does not act straight away, but postpones it, indicating that there are also other deeper subconscious reasons that could affect him. The death of his father at the beginning of the play and the hasty incestuous marriage of his mother upset him greatly and have led to his obsessions with death, decay, sin the body and its parts and with women, purity and the defiling of them. We can see this from speeches such as,
"O that this too too sullied flesh would melt…
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His cannon 'gainst self-slaughter." (I.ii.129)
In Hamlet's last soliloquy we see how mentally stressed out Hamlet is, as everything around him reminds him of his "dull revenge". Every situation reminds him of his dilemma, for instance the gathering of an army by Fortinbras for an invaluable piece of land. Hamlet compares himself with Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, who is impulsive and doesn't hesitate before fighting. Hamlet seeks to get inspiration from Fortinbras, but the philosophical turn of mind runs so deep that he doesn't change. The sensitivity is woven in his nature. Fortinbras doesn't think twice before waging a war against Denmark and that too, for a small piece of land that Hamlet describes as an "eggshell" and a "straw". A main problem for Hamlet in his inability to act is his own self-loathing, revealed in his soliloquies, Hamlet realizes that he has every motivation for revenge; his father's murder, Claudius' incestuous relationship with his mother, Claudius taking power from Hamlet, and the corruption resulting from Claudius' reign. He compares himself to the actors, saying that "Had [the player] the motive.... he would drown the stage with tears". Throughout Hamlets hesitancy to avenge his father Hamlet's Christian values and concerns are manifest, he speaks of the ghosts "commandment" and asks his mother to "confess yourself to heaven, repent". Hamlet is constantly looking at eschatology. He has the opportunity to kill Claudius while at prayer, but holds back. 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.