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Ignorance: The Downfall And Success From Hamlet

1257 words - 6 pages

“Ignorance: The downfall and success from Hamlet “
Asma Baig
Thursday, December 18, 2009
ENG -4U0 Per.3
Mr. Ornstein

Revenge is an action often to seek self satisfaction through the impulsive decisions one may make when they are angry. Many believe that revenge is a form of justice for those who commit crimes or sin. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the characters, Young Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras all seek vengeance for the murders of their own fathers. The vulnerable and disrupt emotion of their fathers deaths that came over each of these characters caused them to act irrationally. These characters felt as though it was their duty to seek vengeance, as their fathers could ...view middle of the document...

The ghost explains this when he says, "So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear" (I.v.11). This quotation also reveals that the ghost believes it is Hamlet’s duty as a beloved son to do this by murdering Claudius. Hamlet comes across a perfect opportunity to complete what the ghost set him out to do but he fails to do so. When Hamlet with a sword in his hand, is behind Claudius he realizes he is praying for forgiveness. Hamlet says “O, this is hire and salary, not revenge” (III.iii.82). This quotation reveals that if Hamlet kills Claudius while he is praying it is not revenge because according to Christianity if one is killed during prayers they will be sent straight to heaven. Hamlet thinks that if he does kill Claudius at this point, he would be doing him a favour rather than seeking vengeance for his father’s death. Through the play, Hamlets delay in killing Claudius and also mistaking Polonius for him leads to defeat. At the end of the play when Hamlet successfully kills the King, he is also wounded from poison, which eventually kills him as well.
In the midst of killing king Claudius, Hamlet unintentionally/mistakenly takes the life of Polonius, Laertes father. Laertes is away from home attending university in France. However, when he receives news regarding his father’s death, he leaves France immediately and returns to Denmark. One of the first things Laertes says when arrives in Denmark is “To this point I stand, / That both worlds I give to negligence, / Let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged/ Most thoroughly for my father” (IV.v.139-142). This quotation reveals Laertes anger towards his father’s murderer and his willingness to seek vengeance for him. Claudius intentionally convinces Laertes that Hamlet maliciously plotted the murder against his father, Polonius. This leads Laertes to become convinced and take further action to seek revenge against Hamlet for his father’s death. After being convinced that this is true, Laertes says “But my revenge will come” (IV.vii.31). This quotation reveals readiness to kill Young Hamlet through an impulsive decision. Laertes feels this way because of what Claudius has told him and pushed him into believing that Hamlet is a mad person who has done wrong upon him. Before the fencing match that occurs between Laertes and Young Hamlet, Hamlet apologizes to Laertes. Laertes responds, "I am satisfied in nature/Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most /To my revenge: but in my terms of honour / I stand aloof" (V.ii.244-247). This quotation reveals that he is pleased by Hamlet's apology and has settled his...

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