Bad Decision-Making in Hamlet Essay

Bad Decision-Making in Hamlet Essay

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Are you too quick to make important decisions? Do you act before you think? These quick decisions are common in the play Hamlet. Hamlet was written by William Shakespeare in 1589. The play takes place in Denmark. The protagonist is a prince named Hamlet. Hamlet’s father suddenly dies, and Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude, decides to marry Hamlet’s uncle, King Claudius. Hamlet slowly goes insane, and he wants revenge on the murderer of his father. Laertes, the son of the king’s associate, makes a bad decision in the play. When Laertes’ father, Polonius, is killed, Laertes is outraged and seeks vengeance. Laertes made a bad decision in the play, but he could have tried using the decision-making process, weighing possible alternatives, and he could have changed the outcome of the play if he had made careful decisions.
Laertes’ main decision in Hamlet was how to seek revenge on Prince Hamlet for killing Polonius. There are seven steps to the decision-making process. First, Laertes had to identify the decision that had to be made. Laertes did follow this step by looking for a solution of his father’s death. Next, Laertes should have gathered information relevant to his situation. Instead of this step, Laertes automatically assumed that he had to kill someone without knowing what really happened to Polonius. Then, Laertes should have identified his alternatives of the decision. Laertes did not explore alternative in the play. He immediately met with the king and decided to kill Prince Hamlet without looking at different ways to approach the situation. After exploring alternatives, Laertes should have weighed the evidence of the situation. The only evidence that Laertes had was the king’s word that Hamlet...


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...the king. By killing the king, they put Denmark in better hands, and they save both of their lives. Also, Ophelia and Hamlet could get married and take the throne. Just by changing Laertes decision, the ending of Hamlet completely changes. Everyone is alive and healthy, except for King Claudius, and Denmark is not taken over by Fortinbras, an officer of a foreign country.
By using the decision-making process, creating alternatives, and choosing the best outcome, Laertes would have completely changed the play, Hamlet. Laertes could have used steps two, three and four of the decision-making process to make an educated decision. Also, Laertes may have wanted to explore his many alternatives and outcomes before making his decision. Lastly, Laertes should have talked to Hamlet about the death of Polonius. Think before you act, and do not be too quick to judge.

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