Fathers and Sons in Hamlet Essay

Fathers and Sons in Hamlet Essay

Length: 1192 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Fathers and Sons in Hamlet

 
     Hamlet's father, Old King Hamlet who he looked up to was recently killed, and his mother married his uncle within a month. He receives a visit from the ghost of his father which urges him to "revenge [Claudius'] foul and most unnatural murder" (I, v, 32) of Old Hamlet. It is only logical that under these circumstances, Hamlet would be under great duress, and it would not be abnormal for him to express grief. Fortnibra and Laertes also have to deal with the avenging their fathers' death.

Fortinbras and Laertes are parallel characters to Hamlet, and they provide critical points on which to compare the actions and emotions of Hamlet throughout the play. They are also important in Hamlet, as they are imperative to the plot of the play and the final resolution. Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras are three young men who are placed in similar circumstances, that is, to get revenge for their fathers' deaths. The way they each come to terms with their grief and how they rise to the call of vengeance is one of the main contrasts between the three.

Hamlet is the Renaissance man who is well rounded in all areas. He has a tremendous acting abilities, and he is a scholar who analyzes everything and is very philosophical, as was shown in his assessment of life in the "To be, or not to be" soliloquy. Hamlet's philosophical side is also brought to light in the prayer scene. At this point he has the opportunity to kill Claudius while he is attempting to repent. However,

Hamlet does not take that chance because he desires kill Claudius "when he is drunk asleep, or in his rage/ Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed," so that "his soul will be as damn'd and black/ As hell, wher...


... middle of paper ...


...nalyzed and executed as he planned. Fortinbras ability to act upon reason and not emotion is one of the most significant differences he has with Hamlet. Hamlet and Laertes represent the extremes of action. Fortinbras therefore, is the midpoint of the two extremes; his ability to reason and the act upon the reason has resulted in his possession of both lands and throne as he set out to avenge.

Works Cited

Adelman, Janet. 1985. 'Male Bonding in Shakespeare's Comedies.' In Shakespeare's Rough Magic: Renaissance Essays in Honor of C.L. Barber, edited by Peter Erickson and Coppélia Kahn. Cranbury and London: Associated University Presses, 73-103.

Boklund, Gunnar. "Hamlet." Essays on Shakespeare. Ed. Gerald Chapman. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1965.

 Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. T. J. B. Spencer. New York: Penguin, 1996.

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Response to Shakespeare's Presentation of the Responsibilities and Obligations Placed on Sons by Fathers in Hamlet

- Response to Shakespeare's Presentation of the Responsibilities and Obligations Placed on Sons by Fathers in Hamlet Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is a play based on the theme of revenge (otherwise known as a revenge tragedy). However there are other themes to this play that may not be as obvious as the main. Love, hate, madness are all other themes to this play, along with the theme of responsibility to sons and fathers. This theme is sustained throughout the whole play when, at the climax, the responsibility of avenging his dead father is finally undertaken by Hamlet....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1392 words (4 pages)

Act One, Scene Two Of Hamlet Essay

- Act one, scene two of Hamlet takes place the morning after Horatio and the guards see the ghost, which they make a plan to keep quiet about until they can tell hamlet. King Claudius gives a speech to his new people, explaining his recent marriage to Gertrude, his brother’s wife and Hamlets mother. Claudius says that he mourns his brother’s death but plans to balance Denmark’s mourning with the delight of his marriage to the queen. Turning to Prince Hamlet, Claudius asks why “the clouds still hang” upon him, which is Claudius’s way of asking hamlet” why are you still sad about your dad’s death?” .As Hamlet is still wearing black mourning clothes Gertrude urges him to cast off his “nightly col...   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Prince Hamlet]

Strong Essays
711 words (2 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Hamlet - Death Comes Along With Revenge Essay

- Death Comes Along with Revenge Poetic justice is when characters get what they deserve. It can be an amazing reward for the good ones or a valid punishment for someone that has done evil to others. However, there are different ways to get justice: some may turn to God and others may turn to revenge as an option. “Revenge…is like a rolling stone, which, when a man hath forced up a hill, will return upon him with a greater violence…” (Jeremy Taylor). Justice and revenge are important motifs in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Strong Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Hamlet By William Shakespeare 's Hamlet Essay

- Throughout the entire story of Hamlet there was a main theme. Sons trying to get revenge for their father’s murders. Both Laertes and Hamlet thought that they must avenge their father’s murder, however, their murders could not have been more different. Hamlet’s father was murdered out of cold blood by his brother Claudius who wanted to be king. Polonius, however, was murdered by Hamlet thinking that he was Claudius. Polonius put himself into that predicament though by spying on Hamlet. Thereby Laertes was not so much justified in trying to kill his father’s murderer as misinformed about what really had happened....   [tags: Hamlet, Murder, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Strong Essays
1083 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Women in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

- Women in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. In this essay I will look at Hamlets perception of women in general but particularly Gertrude and Ophelia. I will also look at the historical presentation of women, comparing Hamlets time to today and seeing if the symbolic role that the females characters have is related to the period. Also I will look at Hamlets madness, whether it was real or not and also whether women could be the cause of it. Finally I will look at a possible ‘Oedipus complex’ in Hamlet....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Females Essays]

Strong Essays
1162 words (3.3 pages)

Hamlet, By William Shakespeare Essay

- Throughout the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Hamlet learns the truth of his father’s recent death. He learns that his fathers death was no accident, and that his uncle, his fathers brother, is his father murder. As the play goes on Hamlet promises to avenge his father’s murderer, his uncle and newly crowned king, Claudius. Covered by this veil the characters give the appearance of being honest and sincere but on the other side of the veil they are polluted with dishonesty and tricky. As the plat goes on it shows that Hamlet is not the only one trying to appear to be doing one thing but has another motive....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Strong Essays
1148 words (3.3 pages)

to thine own self be true: The Conflict between Son and Self in Hamlet

- "to thine own self be true": The Conflict between Son and Self in Hamlet       A name is a very important aspect of a person. It helps to define who that person is and what is important to that person. In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, the use of the same names for fathers and sons creates a dilemma that is not easily overcome. Laertes does not have the same name as his father, but he is controlled by his father all the same. Not only does this rule apply to characters in the play, but also to the play itself....   [tags: Shakespeare, Hamlet]

Free Essays
1800 words (5.1 pages)

Essay Revenge and Vengeance in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Beyond Vengeance

- Revenge in Hamlet        There is an old saying, "The sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons." When the sons in question are Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras - pivotal characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet - one might wonder how each man's father affects their particular natures - their particular sins. While Hamlet could be considered a story in the vein of Cain and Abel; a jealous man who slays his brother, an allusion which Claudius himself makes during his "prayer" at the climax of the play - "O....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]

Strong Essays
1549 words (4.4 pages)

Hamlet, Laertes & Fortinbras: Avenging Their Fathers Essay

- In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the theme of revenge is very palpable as the reader examines the characters of Hamlet himself, as well as Laertes, son of Polonius, and Fortinbras, prince of Norway and son of the late King Fortinbras. Each of these young characters felt the need to avenge the deaths of their fathers who they felt were untimely killed at the bloody hands of their murderers. However, the way each chose to go about this varies greatly and gives insight into their characters and how they progress throughout the play....   [tags: William Shakespeare]

Free Essays
1329 words (3.8 pages)

Free Hamlet Essays: Father and Son in Hamlet

- Father and Son in Hamlet Although they may exhibit some similar traits, all fathers and sons are individuals. They are, or will become, their own man. This development is based on life experience, which is never the same for any two people. In the case of King and Prince Hamlet, this also holds true. King Hamlet must have been a good father for his son to be so devoted and loyal to him. It almost seems that the Prince made an idol of his father. In Prince Hamlet's first soliloquy he described his father as an excellent king, a god-like figure and a loving husband....   [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
609 words (1.7 pages)