Revenge Comes with a Price

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Revenge Comes with a Price

By
Matt Greenfield

In the play Hamlet: Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare three of the characters are faced with avenging their fathers’ deaths, which are Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras. These three character’s actions are guided solely by their emotions to take revenge on their father’s deaths. Even though all three of these characters get their revenge, Fortinbras is the only one to make it out alive. Hamlet with his hesitance, Laertes with his rashness, and Fortinbras with his deceitful planning all had their own reason, method, and outcome for their revenge of their fathers.

Hamlet’s hesitance to revenge his father is the most detailed revenge in the play of all the characters. Upon his arrival to Denmark to claim his kingdom, Lord Hamlet is informed that his mother is marring his father’s brother. Hamlet soon then finds out that it was his uncle that killed his father to take his place as king “Thus was [Hamlet’s Father], sleeping, by a brother’s hand/ Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch’d” (1. 5. 75-76). Feeling his father’s pain, Hamlet pretend his uncle is near “So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word;/ It is “Adieu, adieu! Remember me.”” swearing this as he’s furious with anger (1. 5. 111-112).

Knowing this, Hamlet devises a clever but hesitant plan to avenge his father and take back his kingdom as the rightful heir of his father’s throne. Firstly Hamlet decides that he will give the impression he’s mad or sick. Telling his only trustworthy friend no matter “How strange or odd” he acts, he assures him it’s all a part of the plan (1. 5. 171). Knowing that Polonius reports to the king and queen on everything, Hamlet goes to Polonius daughter Ophelia to act out his craziness and start the rumors of his madness. Hamlet then finds an actor for a play that’s going to be shown and ask him to “study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines/ which [he] would set down and insert” in to the play...
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