Hamlet and Laertes as revengers!

Essay by walterCollege, UndergraduateA, May 2003

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Revenge is a major theme developed throughout William Shakespeare?s tragic play, Hamlet. Even though there are many deaths in the play, the murder of King Hamlet and Polonius are the most important. Since both of these men were fathers, it was customary and honourable during the Elizabethan times for their sons to avenge their deaths. Hamlet, son of the late King Hamlet, and Laertes, son of Polonius, are confronted by their father?s deaths in different ways, which leads them down different roads when avenging their fathers. Hamlet and Laertes possess different personalities but similar motivations, therefore the ways in which they seek revenge for their fathers? death differ. In the end both men take revenge; there is a feeling that Laertes does not take revenge honestly, which leaves him to die without honouring his father. Hamlet on the other hand fulfills his contempt against his father?s killer because he denounces the king and reveals the truth behind his evil nature.

Hamlet is confronted by two of the night watchmen and an old friend, Horatio, who tells him that they have witnessed a ghost like figure that resembles his father. Hamlet appears the next night to confirm the sighting of this nightly figure. After he sees the ghost, Hamlet is positive that it is his father?s spirit. The ghost leads him away from Denmark where ears cannot hear. Hamlet soon learns from the ghost about the cold and bitter truth of his father?s death. The ghost tells Hamlet, ?Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard, / a serpent stung me?the serpent that did sting thy father?s life/ Now wears his crown.?(I, v, 36-40). Hamlet is devastated by what he learns and swears to take revenge. Even though Hamlet is overwhelmed with contempt towards Claudius...