Hamlet Comparison Essay

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William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet strikes many literary chords and themes. It primarily chronicles a quest for revenge, political intrigue and a slow descent into madness. Throughout the play, two men of different rank and intellect; Hamlet and Laertes are portrayed in this play as each other’s foils. Hamlet who has lost his father in the hands of his uncle and Laertes who has lost his father in the hands of Hamlet, seek out similar goals but in very distinct ways. Hamlet and Laertes both go through stages of their carving vengeance to finally fulfill their goals of killing their fathers’ murderers. The readers detect that Hamlet goes in the path of plotting and deceiving to kill Claudius whereas Laertes goes in a more haste and reckless path…show more content…
During the final scene and act of Hamlet, both foils are engaged in an alleged friendly battle, where the king has placed a bet on Hamlet that he will win over Laertes. After their battle Laertes manages to hit Hamlet with the poisoned tip of his foil and in turn Hamlet gets him back. After the queen falls and dies, Laertes states to Hamlet “Hamlet, thou art slain: I lie, never to rise again: thy mother’s poison’d: I can no more: the king, the king’s to blame” (5.2.306-313). Laertes tells Hamlet that he is going to die due to the poisoned blade, also that he himself is also going to die for the same reason and that Gertrude is also going to die for drinking the poisoned cup that was intend for Hamlet. He also states that Claudius is the one who devised everything. This line symbolizes how Hamlets prolonged revenge caused the deaths of so many innocent lives that had nothing to do with his father’s death. If he killed Claudius in the church or before that, then Hamlet wouldn’t have had so many lives lost during the cross-fire. After Laertes got wounded by his own sword he stated that “Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric: I am justly kill’d with mine own treachery’ (5.7.299-300). Laertes admits that his plan backfired by killing him. He caused his own death, but unlike Hamlet, Laertes didn’t kill any innocents along the way with his plan except himself. Finally after all his time spent acting mad, choosing to live or not, hesitating to act upon chance Hamlet finally kills Claudius “Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, Drink off this potion. Is thy union here?’’ (5.2.318-319). Hamlet killed Claudius with the same weapon he had killed his father being the poison. Even though after such a prolonged mission, Hamlet kept his word that he promised to himself during Claudius’s confession “or about some
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