What Is The Theme Of Revenge In Hamlet
Here, Laertes seems to show more emotion regarding harming Hamlet than he does about the actual death of his father. It is because of this twisted mindset and the king’s deceptive advice that Laertes formulates a plan with King Claudius to kill Hamlet. In this plan, King Claudius says:
When in your motion you are hot and dry-- / As make your bouts more violent to that end-- / And that he calls for drink, I’ll have prepared for him / A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping, / If he by chance escape your venom’d stuck, / Our purpose may hold there. (IV.vii.172-177).
In this quote, King Claudius and Laertes generate a plan that will murder Hamlet by a poisoned sword and--if that fails--a poisoned drink. Thus, the king and Laertes set a trap that is destined for death no matter what the eventual circumstances. Laertes’ obsession with revenge on Hamlet ultimately sends the characters on a downward spiral that results in the deaths of all--including …show more content…
Having been dead for two months, the ghost of King Hamlet visits his son and reveals the truth behind his death. Following this, the ghost gives Hamlet instructions to avenge his death, saying: “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (I.v.29). Not only does Hamlet discover in this moment that his father was murdered, but the ghost instructs that he must also retaliate against King Claudius, the murderer. This point early in the play causes Hamlet to become consumed with the desire for revenge and therefore sets off a series of events that end in a sizable amount of collateral damage. Because of Hamlet’s paranoia and desire to kill King Claudius, he acts with irrationality. For instance, when Hamlet is in a meeting with his mother in her bedroom, his insanity drives him to stab who he thinks is King Claudius but actually is Polonius. This sets Laertes off on his own burst of revenge and sends Ophelia into a madness that kills her in the end. If it was not for this incident, Laertes would not have returned from England and conspired with King Claudius to kill Hamlet, therefore eliminating the crisis that ended in multiple deaths. After Hamlet’s return from Claudius’s attempt to exile him, Hamlet reveals the fates of his friends Rosencrantz and