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Define Revenge in Hamlet Essay

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Revenge is one’s desire to retaliate and get even. Human instincts turn to revenge when loved ones are hurt. But, these misdeeds of taking upon revenge may lead to serious consequences. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet,” Fortinbras, Hamlet, and Laertes’s each show how their desire for revenge unavoidably leads to tragedy. The loss of their loved ones caused these characters in Hamlet to take action. Young Fortinbras has built an army to get back the lands his father lost to King Hamlet and Denmark. His actions can be compared to the measures Hamlet is willing to take upon Claudius. Hamlet wants to kill his uncle, Claudius, for killing his father to gain royalty status. Laertes has the same anger as Hamlet killed Polonius, Laertes’s father. Laertes uses all the power he has to get revenge on Hamlet. The corruption of these characters result the deaths of each major character.
Young Fortinbras was the first to lose his father, King Fortinbras, who was the King of Norway. King Fortinbras was killed in a fight against King Hamlet for the land of Denmark. "Lost by his father, with all bonds of law, to our most valiant brother."(I. ii. 24-25). Young Fortinbras wants to take revenge upon Denmark and reclaim what he believes is rightly his families’ (Tiffany). An army is raised to honor his father’s death and reclaim Norway’s lost states. Young Fortinbras’ actions can be explained as action with little thought. Although he directed an army to attack Poland, Young Fortinbras’ uncle, King of Norway, did not understand his reasons. But in the end, Prince Fortinbras gained possession of the Danish throne. Furthermore, Hamlet compares himself to Young Fortinbras. Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act IV describes Fortinbras as a “delicate and t...


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...nd rashly. Hamlet on the other hand is calm, composed and thoughtful. He greatly mourns his father’s death and plans out revenge but never seems to act upon it. Hamlet simply acts very methodically throughout the play. But in the end, only one achieved greatness, Young Fortinbras, as the other two were lead to death.



Works Cited

Cruttwell, Patrick. "The Morality of Hamlet—`Sweet Prince' or `Arrant Knave'?"EXPLORING Shakespeare. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

Johnson, Edgar. “The Dilemma of Hamlet (William Shakespeare: Hamlet).”EXPLORING Shakespeare. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

Tiffany, Grace. "Hamlet, reconciliation, and the just state." Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 58.2 (2005): 111+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.



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