Hamlet Essay, Research Paper
Hamlet (Revenge) Revenge. Revenge causes one to act blindly through anger, rather thanthrough reason. It is based on the principle of an eye for an eye, butthis principle is not always an intelligent theory to live by. YoungFortinbras, Laertes, and Hamlet were all looking to avenge the deaths oftheir fathers. They all acted on emotion, and this led to the downfall oftwo, and the rise to power of one. Since the Heads of the three majorfamilies were each murdered, the eldest sons of these families sworevengeance, and two of the three sons died while exacting their acts ofvengeance, revenge is a major theme in the Tragedy of Hamlet. There were three major families in the Tragedy of Hamlet. These were thefamily of King Fortinbras, the family of Polonius, and the family of KingHamlet. The heads of each of these families are all slaughtered within theplay. Fortinbras, King of Norway, was killed by King Hamlet; slain bysword during a man to man battle. ” our valiant Hamlet-for so this side ofour known world esteem’d him-did slay this Fortinbras.” This entitled KingHamlet to the land that was possessed by Fortinbras because it was writtenin a seal’d compact. Polonius was an advisor to the King, and father toLaertes and Ophelia. He was nosy and arrogant, and he did not trust hischildren. He was killed by Young Hamlet while he was eves dropping on aconversation between Hamlet and his mother. “How now! A rat? Dead, for aducat, 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 ofthese events effected the sons of the deceased in the same way, it enragedthem. Every one of the three eldest sons had one thing in common, they allwanted revenge for a slaughtered father. In the time in which this play isset, avenging the murder of a father was part of one’s honor, and had to bedone. All of the three sons swore vengeance, and then acted towardsgetting revenge for the deaths of their fathers. Young Fortinbras was deeply enraged by the death of his father, and hewanted revenge against Denmark because of this occurrence. Fortinbraswanted to, by force, regain the lands that had been lost by his father toDenmark. ” Now sir, young Fortinbras as it doth well appear unto ourstate-but to recover of us, by strong hand and terms compulsative, thoseforesaid lands so by his father lost ” Claudius sends messengers to talkto Fortinbras’ uncle, the new King of Norway. He forbid Fortinbras toattack Denmark, and instead convinced him to attack the Poles to vent hisanger. ” His nephew’s levies, which to him appear’d to be a preparation’gainst the Polack; But better look’d into, he truly found it was againstyour highness On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys, receives rebukefrom Norway, and, in fine, makes vow before his uncle never more to givethe assay of arms against your majesty.” Laertes found out about his father’s death, and immediately returned
home. 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 andClaudius concoct a plot to kill Hamlet. Hamlet dies of wounds from thepoisoned tipped sword Laertes used. ” Hamlet, thou art slain Thetreacherous instrument is in thy, unbated and envenom’d ” Hamlet was deeply sorrowed by his father’s death. He spoke to a ghost, andthis ghost stated that his father’s death was a murder, by the hand of hisuncle, Claudius. “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wearshis crown.” Hamlet was astonished, and then swore vengeance for hisfather’s death. He then proceeded to try and prove his uncle’s guilt, andthen finally kills him while he himself is dying of poisoned woundsinflicted by Laertes during their duel. “The point envenomed too! Thenvenom, to thy work Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, drink offthis potion,-is thy union here? Follow my mother.” This left the Kingdead, and his father’s death avenged. The lack of thought used in exacting the revenge led to the deaths of bothLaertes and Hamlet. Laertes planned with Claudius to kill Hamlet with thepoisoned tipped sword, but they had not thought that the sword might beused against them. With Laertes believing the King’s accusations thatHamlet had murdered his father, he was in a blind rage, and would notlisten to Hamlet’s explanation and apology. “I am satisfied in nature tomy revenge I stand aloof and will no reconcilement But till that time, I doreceive your offer’d love like love, and will not wrong it.”. He fightsHamlet, and wounds him once with the poisoned tipped sword; butunfortunately, their swords are switched, and Hamlet wounds Laertes withthe sword. That is the wound by which Laertes dies. Hamlet had manychances to kill his uncle, but his rage outweighed his intelligence; and hechose to wait until the lord could see no good in Claudius, and then strikehim down into a world of eternal damnation. “Now might I do it pat, now heis praying; A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, dothis same villain send to heaven.” Hamlet waits until he can kill hisuncle while he is performing a sin, unfortunately for Hamlet, the sin isthe poisoning of his own son in law. Hamlet dies of his poisoned wound. Young Fortinbras regains his fathers land, without use of violence, ordeath 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 ofDenmark. Since the Heads of the three major families were each murdered, the eldestsons of these families swore vengeance, and two of the three sons diedwhile exacting their acts of vengeance, revenge is a major theme in theTragedy of Hamlet. As a theme, revenge was present in all parts of theplay. It seems ironic that Claudius, Laertes, and Hamlet all died of thesame sword. It is also ironic that the first the seek revenge againstClaudius, Fortinbras, becomes King of Denmark. Revenge was the drivingforce behind three of the main characters of the play, for two it led todownfall, and for the other it led to greatness.