Revenge (Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras) in Shakespeare’s, Hamlet
The focus of this paper is to provide an analysis of Shakespeare’s, Hamlet. The paper concentrates on the characters who take revenge due to the social ills they experience. The characters in question are Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras. The paper is organized according to their justification, implementation and success in their plan.
Hamlet is categorized as one of Shakespeare’s tragic plays. The main character is Hamlet the prince and heir to Denmark’s throne. Hamlet is expected to have a successful life due to his destiny as a future prince of Denmark. This however, is not the case in that the death of his father marks the beginning of his suffering and misery. Hamlet is hurt the most by his mother who immediately marries his uncle the antagonist. Hamlet resorts to revenge so that he can dethrone his uncle Claudius and take his rightful place as the king of Denmark. This act of betrayal justifies his actions for revenge against his mother and uncle who are responsible for the death of his father (Booker and Thomas, p. 244).
Hamlet forms a plan on how to fulfill his revenge by implementing an attack against his enemies. His meeting with the ghost of his late father reveals to him that Claudius is responsible for the murder. “Though this be madness, yet there is method in t”. Hamlet forms a strategy by disguising himself as a mad and delusional person. He then gets access to the king where he manages to spy on the movements of Claudius. He does this by outsmarting the king’s guards so as to get complete access to the king.
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so”
Hamlet succeeds in his quest in that he murders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (the king’s guards). He also murders Claudius and Leartus therefore avenging the death of his father. All this comes at a cost in that hamlet loses his life by the hand of Leartus who inflicts a wound on him. His success is not significant in that he becomes a victim of the same revenge (Shakespeare and Furness, p. 209).
Leartus is the son of Polonius and the brother to Ophelia. Known for his stubborn nature, Leartus uses his vulnerable sister to turn against Hamlet. His character is distinguished due to his background and personal achievements. His character does not have significance until he witnesses the death of his father. Leartus’ father Polonius lost his life because he was caught up in the feud between hamlet and Claudius. He blames Hamlet for his father’s death and makes revenge his ultimate objective. He used his sister to get closes to hamlet so that he could avenge his father’s death.
Leartus implements his plan through the use of his sister. His sister Ophelia is Hamlets long time love and suitor. He uses his influence over her and makes her choose between love and family “A little more than kin, and less than kind” .Ophelia is inclined to obey the wishes of her brother due to her position as a woman. She succumbs to his manipulation and betrays Hamlet on several occasions.
He succeeds in the implementation of his plan. Despite his success, he loses his life to the same sword that he inflicts on Hamlet. Leartus and Hamlet manage to harm each other as result of their sadness. Leartus manages to end hamlets life which is his soul intention. This leads to his personal downfall due his death at the end of the scene (Grosz and Wendler, p. 321).
Fortinbras plays the prince of Norway. He faces the usual problems of a prince in that he loses his father in battle. His people suffer the loose of his father due to the domination of their land by Hamlets father “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions” .This becomes motivation for his revenge making him form a quest to avenge his father’s death. It is safe to say that Fortinbras is less motivated due to the fact that his father died in a fair battle compared to his peers. His character is thus similar to that of Hamlet making him subject to the social injustice in the community.
Fortinbras however chooses to handle his situation in a different way. He wishes to avenge the death of his father but does not display aggressiveness. His implementation is thus different in that he sits back while Hamlet, Claudius and Leartus. Hamlet and Leartus are both stubborn and irrational due to their character. This makes them more ambitious in their quest to receive justice. Fortinbras as a result takes a back step in his revenge making him have a different fate from the two.
Fortinbras does not play a vital role in the acts of vengeance making him less vulnerable to the dangers of the society. He emerges as the overall winner in that he takes control of all the lands that belong to both countries. Fortinbras is thus successful in his plan to get back the land that that his father lost (Dunn, Dunn, and Shakespeare, p. 213).
In conclusion, the need to revenge instills anger in an individual. These thoughts are brought about by an injustice by an antagonist character. Hamlet, Leartus and Fortinbras are all victims of misfortunes that lead to their father’s death. Both Hamlet and Leartus lose their lives due to the hatred that they have for each other. Fortinbras on the other hand emerges the overall winner due to the fulfillment of his quest.
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