Revenge causes one to act blindly through anger, rather than through reason. It
is based on the principle of an eye for an eye, but this principle is not always
an intelligent theory to live by. Young Fortinbras, Laertes, and Hamlet were all
looking to avenge the deaths of their fathers. They all acted on emotion, 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 swore vengeance, and two of the three sons died while exacting their
acts of vengeance, revenge is a major theme in the Tragedy of Hamlet.
three major families in the Tragedy of Hamlet. These were the family of King
Fortinbras, the family of Polonius, and the family of King Hamlet. The heads of
each of these families are all slaughtered within the play. Fortinbras, King of
Norway, was killed by King Hamlet; slain by sword during a man to man battle.
.our valiant Hamlet-for so this side of our known world esteem’d him-did
slay this Fortinbras.” This entitled King Hamlet to the land that was
possessed by Fortinbras because it was written in a seal’d compact. Polonius was
an advisor to the King, and father to Laertes and Ophelia. He was nosy and
arrogant, and he did not trust his children. He was killed by Young Hamlet while
he was eves dropping on a conversation between Hamlet and his mother.
now! A rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!” King Hamlet was the King of Denmark,
and Hamlet’s father. He had killed King Fortinbras, only to be killed by his
brother, Claudius. “…My offense is rank, it smells to heaven; A brother’s
..” Each of these events effected the sons of the deceased in the
same way, it enraged them. Every one of the three eldest sons had one thing in
common, they all wanted revenge for a slaughtered father. In the time in which
this play is set, avenging the murder of a father was part of one’s honor, and
had to be done. All of the three sons swore vengeance, and then acted towards
getting revenge for the deaths of their fathers.
Young Fortinbras was deeply
enraged by the death of his father, and he wanted revenge against Denmark
because of this occurrence. Fortinbras wanted to, by force, regain the lands
that had been lost by his father to Denmark. “…Now sir, young Fortinbras.
it doth well appear unto our state-but to recover of us, by strong hand and
terms compulsative, those foresaid lands so by his father lost…” Claudius
sends messengers to talk to Fortinbras’ uncle, the new King of Norway.
Fortinbras to attack Denmark, and instead convinced him to attack the Poles to
vent his anger. “…His nephew’s levies, which to him appear’d to be a
preparation ‘gainst the Polack; But better look’d into, he truly found it was
against your highness..
.On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys, receives
rebuke from Norway, and, in fine, makes vow before his uncle never more to give
the assay of arms against your majesty.” Laertes found out about his
father’s death, and immediately returned home. He confronted the King and
accused him of the murder of his father. Claudius told Laertes that Hamlet was
responsible for his father’s death. He then decides to kill Hamlet to avenge the
death of his father.
He and Claudius concoct a plot to kill Hamlet. Hamlet dies
of wounds from the poisoned tipped sword Laertes used. “…Hamlet, thou art
..The treacherous instrument is in thy, unbated and envenom’d…”
Hamlet was deeply sorrowed by his father’s death.
He spoke to a ghost, and this
ghost stated that his father’s death was a murder, by the hand of his uncle,
Claudius. “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his
crown.” Hamlet was astonished, and then swore vengeance for his father’s
death. He then proceeded to try and prove his uncle’s guilt, and then finally
kills him while he himself is dying of poisoned wounds inflicted by Laertes
during their duel. “The point envenomed too! Then venom, to thy
.Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, drink off this potion,-is
thy union here? Follow my mother.” This left the King dead, and his
father’s death avenged. The lack of thought used in exacting the revenge led to
the deaths of both Laertes and Hamlet. Laertes planned with Claudius to kill
Hamlet with the poisoned tipped sword, but they .