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Hamlet Essay

  • Submitted by: amstuder
  • on November 24, 2012
  • Category: Shakespeare
  • Length: 1,149 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Hamlet Essay" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Laertes and Hamlet: Beloved Revenge
Throughout Shakespeare’s Hamlet many themes and motifs are exemplified by the characters interactions with one another. Revenge is one of the most prevalent themes during the play, and is demonstrated most by Hamlet and Laertes. Although Laertes spends much of the play in France, his presence is felt throughout, with a sense of revenge constantly accompanying him. Laertes is known for being the obvious foil to Hamlet in the play. However, they have more in common than meets the eye. Both Laertes and Hamlet end up seeking vengeance for their fathers’ murders and exhibit rash decision making fueled by visions of revenge.
Although the connection between Laertes and Hamlet may not be evident at the beginning of the play, it reveals itself as the acts unfold. During the first half of the play the dialogue between Laertes and Hamlet is sparse. Although they may not speak directly to each other often they share several things in common. Laertes and Hamlet both have a deep love for Ophelia, instantly creating a disparity between the two. As Laertes says to Ophelia,” For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favor… If with too credent ear you list his songs, Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open To his unmaster’d importunity” (Act I Scene III, Lines 5, 30-31). From this passage you can surmise a strange and possibly incestuous undertone in Laertes speech to Ophelia. Normally an inference like such might not be drawn. However, given Hamlets preoccupation with his mother, “O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into dew!”(Act I Scene II Line29-30). Along with his fixation on her and Claudius’s sex life, “She married. O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” (Act I Scene II Line 156-157), the possibility of incestuous tendencies amongst Shakespeare’s characters is never out of question.   It is not only the possibility of incest and their deep love for Ophelia that link...

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