The Consequences Of Revenge In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

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Trying to exact revenge often has dire consequences. Despite the limited self-satisfaction that it can provide it can often leave those that you care about hurt, but can also come back and hurt you. The theme of revenge plays a major role and is exemplified through the two characters Hamlet and Laertes in the play Hamlet by Shakespeare. Both characters are spending majority of their time trying to exact revenge. Hamlet and Laertes are similar in their desire for revenge, but differ in the method by which they achieve their ends.
Hamlet’s desire for revenge comes forth after he learns of his father’s murder. Initially, Hamlet acted very different upon hearing of his father’s death, as he acted more depressed and clads himself in all black
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Instead of going in straight for the kill he opts to prolong his revenge. When the time comes for him get his revenge, Hamlet is making sure that he kills the right person. An example of this would be the play he puts together. During his second act monologue he says, “I’ll have these players/Play something like the murder of my father/Before mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks;/I’ll tent him to the quick. If he do blench,/I know my course.” (II. ii. 623-627) Hamlet first plans to try and expose Claudius with the play to make sure that it was in fact him who had murdered his father. Moreover, even when Hamlet knows Claudius is the murderer and is provided with the chance to kill him he chooses not to. His reason being not to kill him as he says, “At game a-swearing, or about some act/That has no relish of salvation in ’t—/Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,/And that his soul may be as damned and black/As hell, whereto it goes.” (III. iii. 96-100) Hamlet is saying that he must wait for the moment when Claudius is committing a sin or else his soul will go to heaven. Not killing Claudius extends his plan even more. While Hamlet’s method was moving at a slower pace, Laertes’ was the opposite. Unlike Hamlet, Laertes acted almost right away and sailed back to France ready to overthrow Claudius. Laertes even brought followers that were chanting, “Choose we, Laertes shall be king!”(IV. v. 116) This displays how …show more content…
Hamlet manages to get revenge for his father’s death at the very end of the play by killing Claudius in a somewhat ironic way. Enraged from the death of his mother, Hamlet forces Claudius to drink the poison that Claudius was planning to use on Hamlet. By doing this, Hamlet achieves his goal of revenge for his father while doing when Claudius was sinning, as Hamlet’s mother died drinking the poison he prepared for Hamlet. Hamlet does not feel any different towards the king and even insults him, as he forces him to drink the poison, by saying, “Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damnèd Dane,/Drink off this potion. Is thy union here?/Follow my mother.” (V. ii. 356-358) Hamlet did not like Claudius at the start and he certainly did not like him at the end. Similar to Hamlet, Laertes was also able to get his revenge. He managed to stab Hamlet with the poisoned sword sending him to his doom, but after a little mix up Hamlet picked up the poisoned sword and stabbed Laertes. However, in contrast to Hamlet’s feelings, Laertes had a sense of regret and says, “Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet./Mine and my father’s death come not upon thee,/Nor thine on me.” (V. ii. 361-363) Laertes is asking Hamlet for forgiveness as well as forgiving him for the murder of his father. While Hamlet hated Claudius through and through, Laertes has a change of heart and regrets his

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