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Revenge the downfall

By JeanvdMerwe Apr 30, 2014 367 Words
Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet all seek to avenge the deaths of their fathers. In the process of seeking revenge, the three of them expose themselves to a great gamble that inevitably leads to the loss of power, prosperity, status and life for all but one. When Shakespeare first introduces Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet to the reader, there is a clear contrast in the way these characters react to the problems they are prone to overcome. Hamlet on the one hand tends to think clear and rational of all the contributing elements and factors before going into action while Fortinbras and Laertes are irrationally driven to action by passion. However, Hamlet’s indecisiveness of killing Claudius leads to the downfall of Laertes and ultimately his own. Hamlet kills Polonius, the father of Laertes, in hope that it was Claudius that was eavesdropping on the conversation between him and Gertrude. The death of Polonius was swept beneath the carpet which made Laertes determined to seek avenge for his father’s death. Laertes, in the state of rage he was, could easily be manipulated by anyone who showed interest in his cause. Laertes is determined to avenge his father’s death. Claudius exploits Laertes’s state of rage and determination to his advantage and manipulates Laertes into killing Hamlet. Hamlet only realizes Laertes and Claudius is set to kill him when Gertrude accidently drinks a poisoned beverage that was meant for Hamlet. This knowledge causes Hamlet to act on emotion resulting in the death of Claudius and Laertes. Fortinbras seeks to avenge his father’s death by regaining the land King Hamlet took from King Fortinbras when he slayed him. Despite the gamble Fortinbras took by attempting to go to war with Denmark, he managed to stay collected which ultimately resulted in a success to his search for vengeance. In conclusion, revenge has been the downfall of many people. It causes one to act irrationally and impulsively through anger and passion rather than reason. Throughout the play, Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet all relied on emotion to seek revenge. The gamble they took basing their revenge on passion rather than thought lead to the downfall and deaths of Laertes and Hamlet.

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