Essay, Research Paper: Hamlet And Leartes

Shakespeare: Hamlet

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Hamlet and Leartes have many similarities and differences throughout the play.
An example of this is that Laertes and Hamlet both display impulsive reactions
when angered. For example, once Laertes discovers his father has been murdered
Laertes immediately assumes the slayer is Claudius. As a result of Laertesís
speculation he instinctively moves to avenge Poloniusís death. "To hell,
allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the
profoundest pit! I dare damnation: to this point I stand, that both worlds I
give to negligence, let come what comes; only Iíll be revenged most thoroughly
for my father." Act 4 Scene 5 lines 128-134 provide insight into
Laertesís mind displaying his desire for revenge at any cost. In contrast to
Laertes speculation of his fatherís killer, Hamlet presumes the individual
spying on his conversation with Gertrude is Claudius. Consequently, Hamlet
consumed with rage automatically thrusts out attempting to kill Claudius, but
instead strikes Polonius. Hamletís and Laertesís imprudent actions are
incited by fury and frustration. Sudden anger prompts both Hamlet and Laertes to
act spontaneously, giving little thought to the consequences of their actions.
Another example is that Hamlet and Laertes both share a different but deep love
and concern for Ophelia. Before his departure for France Laertes provides
lengthy advice to Ophelia pertaining to her relationship with Hamlet. Laertes
voices his concern of Hamletís true intentions towards Ophelia and advises her
to be wary of Hamletís love. Hamletís strong love for Ophelia withers after
she rejects his affinity, which results in grave suffering for Hamlet. Once
Laertes learns of the death of his sister, he is afflicted with sadness. In the
same way, Hamlet is shocked and enraged over Opheliaís demise. Both Hamlet and
Laertes are so profoundly distressed at the death of Ophelia that they jump into
her grave and fight each other. Hamlet was infatuated with Ophelia which was
obvious during his constant anguish over her. Laertes shared a strong brotherly
love for Ophelia which was evident in his advice to her as well as during her
funeral were he fought with Hamlet. Hamlet and Laertes exhibit domineering
attitudes towards females. Laertes gives his sister Ophelia guidance on her
relationship with Hamlet. In the same way, Hamlet is able to persuade Gertrude
he is not mad and manipulate her to follow his instructions. Hamlet directs his
mother to convince Claudius of Hamletís madness. Hamlet is able to make his
mother reflect upon her part in the death of his father and feel guilt.
Furthermore, Hamlet instructs his mother not to sleep with Claudius. The fathers
of Laertes and Hamlet both attempted to use spies to gain information on their
sons. Claudius employed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to gather information on
Hamlet. In comparison, Polonius dispatches Reynaldo to check up on Laertes. All
of this implies that Hamlet and Laertes share similar aspects within their
families. Hamlet and Laertes demonstrate rash behavior when infuriated. Hamlet
becomes outraged at the notion of Claudius spying on him, which results in
Hamlet mistakenly killing Polonius. Laertes becomes drastically angered at the
death of his father and boldly seeks vengeance against Claudius. Although
adversaries, Hamlet and Laertes share several characteristics which make them
similar.
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