Hamlet. Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th gradeA+, October 1996

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Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

It is commonly said that if you play too close with the fire, you are going to get

burned. This generally means that if you live a dangerous lifestyle, then you will

eventually falter and suffer the consequences. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, there are many

cases where characters are killed because they lived a murderous lifestyle. Claudius

murders his own brother and is then murdered himself. Laertes kills Hamlet but is killed

himself before Hamlet dies. Hamlet murders Polonius and Laertes avenges his father by

killing Hamlet. The lives and deaths of these three individuals are inextricably

interwoven. Their destinies are forged by the others actions. To attempt to separate the

life and death of each separate character would be impossible because their destinies are

so closely tied together. Each one's destiny is determined by the actions of not only their

life but also the reactions of others.

Claudius, King Hamlet's brother, desires to have more power than he currently

has. He devises and executes a plan to murder his brother, the king by placing poison in

the sleeping man's ear. The king dies from the poisoning, and Claudius exclaims that the

king must have been bitten by a snake and died from the venom. "The serpent that did

sting thy father's life now wears the crown." (p 29) It is the perfect crime except that

young Hamlet gets wind of the evil deed from the ghost of his father. Hamlet is told that

the only way to put his father's soul to rest is to right the crime that was committed. So

Hamlet sets his sights on proving that Claudius murdered his father. Hamlet devises an

ingenious plan to trap Claudius. He rigs a play to portray the same murder that...