Hamlet (Revenge) Essay, Research Paper
Hamlet (Revenge) Revenge causes one to act irrational through anger, rather than through reason. This lack of reason through emotion is not a sane way to live by. In Shakespear’s play “Hamlet” Three characters acted on mania, Fortinbras, Laertes, and Hamlet had swore to avenge the deaths of their fathers. During the time period in which this play is set, avenging the death of a father was an aspect of one’s honor, and required duty of any surviving sons. The Heads of the three major families were each murdered, leaving the eldest sons of these families to avenge the deaths of their predecessors. Both Laertes, and Hamlet die while exacting their acts of vengeance, revenge is a crucial facet in the Tragedy of Hamlet. The three leading families in the Tragedy of Hamlet were the family of King Fortinbras, the family of Polonius, and the family of King Hamlet. The patriarch of each of these families are all killed within the play. Fortinbras, King of Norway, is killed by King Hamlet; slain by sword during a man to man battle. ” our valiant Hamlet-for so this side of our known world esteem’d him-did slay this Fortinbras.” (1.1.89-90) This entitled King Hamlet to the land that had been ruled by Fortinbras because it was written in a seal’d compact. King Hamlet was the King of Denmark, and young 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 ” (3.3.36-38) Polonius was an advisor to the King, and father to Laertes and Ophelia.. He is killed by Young Hamlet while he is eves dropping on a conversation between Hamlet and his mother. “How now! A rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!” (3.4.25) Hamlet is deeply grieved by his father’s death, and in speaking to his father’s ghost, he learns from the ghost that he had been murdered, by the hand of his uncle, Claudius. “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown.” (1.5.40-41) Hamlet is enraged, and avows retribution for his father’s death. He then proceeded to disclose his uncle’s guilt, in the end there is revenge, but at what price? Next we see young Fortinbras to be deeply enraged by the death of his father, by force, he would regain the lands that had been lost by the death of his father. ” Now sir, young Fortinbras as it doth well appear unto our state-but to recover of us, by strong hand and terms compulsative, those foresaid lands so by his father lost ” ( ) Claudius sends messengers to talk to Fortinbras’ uncle, the new King of Norway. He forbids Fortinbras to attack Denmark, and instead convinced him to attack the Poles to vent his anger. ” 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 against your highness On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys, receives rebuke from Norway, and, in fine, makes vow before his uncle never more to give the assay of arms against your majesty.” ( ) Laertes learns of his father’s death, and immediately returned home. He confronted the King and accuses him of the death of his father. Claudius told Laertes that Hamlet was responsible for his father’s murder. Later Laertes and Claudius conspire to kill Hamlet with a poisoned tipped sword, unaware by these two the sword is later used against them. Laertes continues to believe the King’s accusations that Hamlet had intentionaly murdered his father, he is in a blind rage, and will not acquiesce 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.”. (5.2.218-24) He fights Hamlet, and wounds him with the poisoned tipped sword; the swords are switched, and Hamlet wounds Laertes with the sword, causing Laertes demise. Hamlet dies also of wounds from the poisoned sword. ” Hamlet, thou art slain The treacherous instrument is in thy hand, unbated and envenom’d ” (5.2.291-295)
Hamlet has many opportunities to kill his uncle, “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.” (3.3.73-74) 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. Hamlet delays until he can kill his uncle while he is performing a sin, unfortunately for Hamlet, the sin is the poisoning of his own step-son, Hamlet. “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.” (5.2.303-305) This left the King Claudius dead, and his father’s death avenged. Young Fortinbras regains his fathers land, without use of violence. Hamlet in dying names him, ruler of Denmark. “On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.” (5.2.334) Ironically the inadequacy of thought used in exacting the revenge led to the deaths of Queen Gertrude, Laertes, Hamlet, as well as Claudius. In the end only one found an epitome of justice in his search for vengeance, For many, it lead to death, for one it led to glory. Fortinbras, becomes King of Denmark.