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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Q1. Compare and contrast the different approaches of revenge between Hamlet and Laertes. Use reference from the text to support your answer?

  1. 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. These were the family of Polonius, and the family of King Hamlet. The heads of each of these families are all slaughtered within the play. Polonius was an advisor to the King, and father to Laertes and Ophelia. He was nosy and arrogant, and he did not trust his children. He was killed by Hamlet while he was eves dropping on a conversation between Hamlet and his mother. "How now! A rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!" King Hamlet was the King of Denmark, and Hamlet's father. He had killed King Fortinbras, only to be killed by his brother, Claudius. "…My offense is rank, it smells to heaven; A brother's murder…" Each of these events affected the sons of the deceased in the same way, it enraged them.

Revenge causes one to act blindly through anger, rather than through reason. It is based on the principle of an eye for an eye, but this principle is not always an intelligent theory to live by. Laertes found out about his father's death, and immediately returned home from France . He confronted the King and accused him of the murder of his father. Claudius told Laertes that Hamlet was responsible for his father's death. He then decides to kill Hamlet to avenge the death of his father. He and Claudius concoct a plot to kill Hamlet. Hamlet dies of wounds from the poisoned tipped sword Laertes used. "…Hamlet, thou art slain…The treacherous instrument is in thy, unbated and envenom'd…" Hamlet was deeply sorrowed by his father's death. He spoke to a ghost, and this ghost stated that his father's death was a murder, by the hand of his uncle, Claudius. "The serpent that did sting thy father's life now wears his crown." Hamlet was astonished, and then swore vengeance for his father's death. He then proceeded to try and prove his uncle's guilt, and then finally kills him while he himself is dying of poisoned wounds inflicted by Laertes during their duel. "The point envenomed too! Then venom, to thy work…Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, drink off this potion, - is thy union here? Follow my mother." This left the King dead, and his father's death avenged.

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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 ...

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