Loyalty between Father and Son Relationships
“O cursed spite,/ That ever I was born to set it right!” (Hamlet 1.5.197-198). These words of Hamlet set the tone for the theme of revenge in the play Hamlet. This reoccurring theme arises through the father and son relationships in the course of the play. The characters Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras all experience the loss of their fathers, and all, as loyal sons, must avenge them. In each case, the execution of their plans is different, and for each son, the results of their actions are unexpected. Of these characters Hamlet and Laertes acted in an unbalance manner; Hamlet too overly analytical and Laertes too overly emotional and therefore the outcomes of their revenge schemes worked against them. On the other hand Fortinbras behaves in a mature and balanced manner, which led to the outcome that he intended, even though it occurred differently than originally planned.
In the play Hamlet, the lead character, Hamlet, faces great hardship when he discovers that his Uncle Claudius murdered his father for the throne. As a result, Hamlet felt the need to seek revenge because of his immense loyalty to his father. His loyalty is proven when he says to his father’s ghost “And thy commandment all alone shall live/ Within the book and volume of my brain” (Hamlet 1.5.102-103). In this quotation Hamlet is stating that he will avenge this father’s murder as it will be the only thought on his mind. Although initially, Hamlet had every intention of fulfilling his duty of revenge, after thinking about the act of murdering Claudius, he feels that he needs more proof to commit such a sin. Therefore he decides to “have [the] players/ Play something like the murder of [his] father/ Before [his] uncle, [and] observe his looks” (Hamlet 2.2.581-583). Hamlet had met these players and devised a proposition for them to re-enact a very similar plot to the way Old Hamlet had been murdered. The play establishes Old Hamlet’s...
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