Hamlet, Laertes & Fortinbras: Avenging Their Fathers

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In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the theme of revenge is very palpable as the reader examines the characters of Hamlet himself, as well as Laertes, son of Polonius, and Fortinbras, prince of Norway and son of the late King Fortinbras. Each of these young characters felt the need to avenge the deaths of their fathers who they felt were untimely killed at the bloody hands of their murderers. However, the way each chose to go about this varies greatly and gives insight into their characters and how they progress throughout the play.

Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras are similar in the fact that each had love, or at least respect their fathers. Enough to make an attempt to wreak revenge upon their fathers murderers at the risk of their own reputation, freedom, and souls. Each characters father had a substantially high social class in their respective countries, which in turn gives them high social class as well. With Hamlet and Fortinbras as sons of kings and Laertes as the son of an aristocrat of high regard in the Danish court, all had a lot to loose if unsuccessful in their ploy. Each of the sons believed that the killers had dishonored their fathers as well as themselves. Each acts in a way that they consider to be an attempt at restoring it to the family, as honor was a significant thing to uphold in this day.

Although similar in age, class and ambition to destroy their fathers killers, Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras each have characteristics that make them different from each other and show how each acted unlike the others when carrying out their plans. Hamlet seems to be the one who lets things dwell in his mind before taking any action or making an attempt at trying to get on with things. He shows this after the death of his father when he remains in morning and a depressed state for three months without trying to get on with his life. Laertes seems to be the more quick minded of the three as he makes hasty judgements about Hamlet and...
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