Essay PreviewMore ↓
With Outline Time and time again, we as a complex society have recognized in many pieces of great literature the idea of man and revenge. Throughout history, the idea of vengeance has destroyed large communities, populations and entire civilizations. The problem with man and revenge is that one may be side-tracted of why or whom he is avenging. This similar idea is conveyed in the theme of Shakespear's Hamlet , "Vengeance can confuse a man's mind and soul to the point where he may not be sure of whom he is really avenging." Shakespear uses foils in this play to allow us readers to understand Hamlet as a man and why and whom he is really avenging.
A foil is "minor character in a literary work who by the similarities and differences in what he or she does (as compared to a more important character), or by simply being there for another character to talk to, helps the audience understand a more important character." Laertes and the ghost are foils for Hamlet in this play which help us readers understand his character and his actions. During the play, Hamlet ignores his father's (ghost) warning about his mother, pretends to be crazy, betrays Ophelia, and delays the vengeance of his father's murder. What was the cause of these actions? Why did Hamlet delay his duty of vengeance? Through the insight of the ghost and Laertes, one may be able to come to his/her own conclusions.
Laertes was a stable-minded student who was Polonius's son and Ophelia's brother. He was a strong-willed young man whom studied over seas, was protective of Ophelia, loved his family, and kept his loyalty to King Hamlet and then to King Claudius. Hamlet and Laertes had never been friends, for Hamlet was of a higher social class. In one aspect, Laertes respected their differences and in another, it made him leary of and curious about Hamlet and his ways. Also, hamlet had feelings for Ophelia for which Laertes despised and warranted off. Although Hamlet and Laertes differ, Laertes acts as a stable foil for Hamlet whom makes sound decisions and acts on his words instead of just speaking.
Laertes allows us readers to explore how Hamlet should have acted instead of how he did: Inactive, in a state of delay, and full of words.
How to Cite this Page
"Revenge and Vengeance in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Vengeance in Hamlet." 123HelpMe.com. 10 Dec 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Revenge Tragedy in Hamlet Shakespeare’s very tragic play Hamlet is generally regarded by literary critics as a revenge tragedy. This essay seeks to explain how Hamlet satisfies the requirements of a tragedy. There is near-absolute proof of the notion that Hamlet is a revenge-tragedy in the fact of the large number of instances in which this play corresponds to the formula of a “typical” revenge-tragedy of the Elizabethan era. Phyllis Abrahms and Alan Brody in “Hamlet and the Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy Formula” enlighten us on this more-than-coincidental conformity: There are ten deaths in Hamlet, if we include the death of Hamlet’s father and the “make-believe” de... [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]
1950 words (5.6 pages)
- Revenge in Hamlet Shakespeare's Hamlet is largely coordinated by connections, parallelisms and contrasts between intermingled families. In the play we see two families who are victims, as well as perpetrators, of revenge. The Polonius family is significant in key scenes and also in the language that the family members use. The theme of revenge is central to the play and there are four "cases" of revenge - three involving "living" characters: Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet, and one which is a Classical legend which was the greatest symbol of secular disaster in the Renaissance world, the story of the destruction of Troy and the revenge of Phyrrus, for the death of his father, Ach... [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet]
913 words (2.6 pages)
- Revenge in Hamlet In Elizabethan times, a type of play known as a "revenge tragedy" became popular. These plays revolved around, "... the revenge of a father for a son or vice versa, the revenge being directed by the ghost of the murdered man..." (Harmon and Holman #6). Other characteristics include real or pretend insanity, philosophic soliloquies, hesitation on the part of the protagonist, conspiracy, and the use of horror. William Shakespeare's Hamlet fully satisfies each of these traits, making it an excellent example of a revenge tragedy.... [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]
1049 words (3 pages)
- Hamlet – the Revenge Tragedy? A baffling array of considerations relevant to the revenge aspect of Shakespeare’s tragic drama Hamlet make an essay on this topic an interesting experience. Ruth Nevo in “Acts III and IV: Problems of Text and Staging” explains the uncertain place which revenge occupies within the hero’s most famous soliloquy: And conversely, because self-slaughter is the ostensible subject of the whole disquisition, we cannot read the speech simply as a case of conscience in the matter of revenge – Christian revenge and the secular sanctions and motivations of honor.... [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]
1945 words (5.6 pages)
- Hamlet: Revenge or Scruples. “'Vengeance is mine,' sayith the Lord”. What does this mean. I believe what the Christians meant it to mean is that we, as humans, have no right to seek revenge, that only “the Lord” has the right to decide when to take revenge. We say this, but do we follow it. No, I think not. We all try to take revenge into our own hands, in one form or another. Revenge is one strong theme that holds throughout “Hamlet”. We see Prince Hamlet try to execute a kind of private vengeance, an eye for an eye, which is completely opposite of the Christian teachings.... [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]
1232 words (3.5 pages)
- Hamlet as a Typical Revenge Tragedy Shakespeare’s Hamlet very closely follows the dramatic conventions of revenge in Elizabethan theater. All revenge tragedies originally stemmed from the Greeks, who wrote and performed the first plays. After the Greeks came Seneca who was very influential to all Elizabethan tragedy writers. Seneca who was Roman, basically set all of the ideas and the norms for all revenge play writers in the Renaissance era including William Shakespeare. The two most famous English revenge tragedies written in the Elizabethan era were Hamlet, written by Shakespeare and The Spanish Tragedy, written by Thomas Kyd.... [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]
2712 words (7.7 pages)
- Revenge in Hamlet Revenge causes the characters in Hamlet to act blindly through anger and emotion, rather than through reason. It is based on the principle of an eye for an eye; this action is not always the best means to an end. Fortinbras, Laertes, and Hamlet were all looking to avenge the deaths of their fathers. They all acted on emotion driven by the want for revenge for their father's deaths, and this led to the downfall of two, and the rise to power of one. Since the heads of the three major families were each murdered, the eldest sons of these families felt that they needed to take some kind of action to avenge their father's deaths; this need to bring honour to their respective... [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet Essays]
809 words (2.3 pages)
- Vengeance in Hamlet With Outline Time and time again, we as a complex society have recognized in many pieces of great literature the idea of man and revenge. Throughout history, the idea of vengeance has destroyed large communities, populations and entire civilizations. The problem with man and revenge is that one may be side-tracted of why or whom he is avenging. This similar idea is conveyed in the theme of Shakespear's Hamlet , "Vengeance can confuse a man's mind and soul to the point where he may not be sure of whom he is really avenging." Shakespear uses foils in this play to allow us readers to understand Hamlet as a man and why and whom he is really avenging.... [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]
1146 words (3.3 pages)
- 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]
1549 words (4.4 pages)
- The Theme of Revenge in Hamlet In Shakespeare's tragedy, Hamlet, the thoughts of revenge are introduced early in the play. At the end of the first act, Hamlet meets the ghost of his deceased father. He is brought to see him by Horatio and Marcellus, who saw the ghost "yesternight" (Shakespeare 1.2.190). During this exchange of words between the Ghost and Hamlet, the Ghost tells Hamlet, "[s]o art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear." (Shakespeare 1.5.5). He is telling Hamlet to listen closely to what he has to say.... [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]
1154 words (3.3 pages)
One can sense vengeance in the presence of the ghost. The ghost or the spirit of King Hamlet walks the night in order to relay a message to his son Hamlet. When the ghost approaches Hamlet he is told that Claudius murdered his father for the crown and Gertrude's hand in marriage. He is also told not to punish his mother or, "Taint not thy mind nor let they soul contrive against they mother aught. Leave her to heaven and to those thorns that in her bosom lodge, to prick and sting her." (Ghost, p. 650) Although Hamlet believed the words of the ghost, he antagonized his mother and contrived a plan to obtain evidence of these actions accused. Hamlet's plan was to contrive a play within a play for which the players would present to Claudius and Gertrude. The play consisted of a reinactment of his father's murder. Hamlet watched Claudius's reactions and discovered the ghost had not lied. Yet he did nothing.
Acting as a foil, the ghost is Hamlet's conscious always reminding him of his duty and questioning the delay. Without the ghost as a foil for Hamlet we would not question King Hamlet's death and what opsticles (external or internal) Hamlet had to hurdle over during this delay. With the ghost taunting him daily by use of his conscious, Hamlet had to tear apart the truth of whom he really wanted vengeance for. Why did he delay even after the ghost visited him a second time demanding vengeance and giving one last warning about Gertrude? Why could Hamlet kill Claudius only after he had brought Gertrude and himself to death? Through foils such as Laertes and the ghost we wonder who Hamlet really is and what was at the top of his priorities list- His father's murder being avenged or his mother's.
Many critics ponder this very theme, "Vengeance can confuse a man's mind and soul to the point where he may not be sure of whom he is really avenging." Some say Hamlet was a coward and some say he was outright crazy. Others like fraudian say he may have suffered from an Oedipus complex, which made him closer to his mother than his father. If that were the case, then it would explain the delay of vengeance for his father's murder and the immediate display of vengeance for his mother's. It would also explain why Laertes was the sound mind or actor of Hamlet's spoken actions because Laertes was sure of whom he was avenging. Although many theories on this account have been made, without foils such as Laertes and the ghost, critics would not be able to induce the questions for which they have always theorized.
Thesis: Vengeance an confuse a man's mind and soul to the point where he may not be sure of whom he is really avenging.
B. Introduction of foils
II. Introduction of Foils
B. Introduction to Laertes and Ghost
C. Conjunction to III
A.Introduction to Laertes
2. His life
B.Laertes and Hamlet
1. No relationship
IV. Laertes as a foil for Hamlet
A. What Laertes shows us (readers)
1. How Hamlet should be
2. What Hamlet should do
1. Ready to dual
2. Still not ready to kill
V. Introduction to Ghost
A. Who is the Ghost
B. What Ghost delays
2. Asking for avengence
VI. Ghost as a foil for Hamlet
A. What the ghost shows us (readers)
2. Shows us Hamlet has opsticle to climb
1. No vengeance
2. Still delay
A. Reintroduction of Thesis
1. How it fits
2. What it means
B. Laertes and Ghost as foils
1. What they showed us
2. Established questions
C. How foils relate to thesis