Hamlet Essay, Research Paper
On the surface Shakespeare s Hamlet and Laertes are very similar characters, both in their disposition and in their behaviors. Even deeper inside they are comparable in their thirst for revenge and love for Ophelia. Both of these goals are important to the two young men, but one clearly takes precedence over the other throughout the play. Despite their confessed love for her in during her funeral, Hamlet claiming that he lov d Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum. (V, i), and Laertes saying that his sister was a minist ring angel (V, i), both men callously disregard her fragile state of mind in their quest for the revenge of their father s deaths. Whether it is Hamlet s act as a madman or her brother s ignorance of her blatant grief, the two men left in her life failed to care for her and the result: she took her own life. Hamlet, the young prince of Denmark begins the play in a melancholy mood. The loss of his father, the tragic discovery that his mother has married his Uncle, who also happens to be the killer, is enough to make him ponder suicide, as he mopes To be or not to be (III, I). Spurred on by the revelation of the ghost, his melancholy is turned into thoughts of action and revenge against the man that killed his beloved father. On his quest to snatch away the life of Claudius, his hated Uncle, Hamlet slays Polonious, his love Ophelia s father. Ophelia herself falls into a deep depression; she realizes that the man she once loved, Hamlet, has apparently gone crazy, her brother has left her and gone to France, and her father is dead.Ophelia has just as much to be troubled about just as Hamlet does. It should not have been a wonder to Hamlet that she pondered and acted upon the same feelings he experienced only a short time before. When the young prince was in the depths of his sadness, everyone in the King s court was concerned for his well being, but there is no such concern for poor Ophelia. Hamlet makes no attempt to comfort her; he is still immersed in his quest for vengeance. Her brother, Laertes, returns from France, but not to see her. He instead arrives at Elsinore to extract his revenge for the murder of his father. Ophelia is left alone with her misery and she spends her last remaining moments singing songs to herself. The only time that both Hamlet and Laertes take notice of her, the only time that they express concern or show their affection for her is at her funeral.
Her tragic suicide could have been prevented had the two hotheaded men not been so caught up in avenging their fathers. True, the murder of one s father is a terrible tragedy and the one responsible deserves punishment. In both these cases, the law of the times was insufficient and both men were forced to take action for themselves if they wanted anything done, but in doing so they neglected what they still had left. Ophelia was the only thing left in the world that either man had to love. For Hamlet, the loss of his father and the corruption of his mother by the scheming Claudius determined him to repay the killer. For Laertes, his wise and sage father being vanquished by Hamlet s sword was enough to push him into a vengeful rage. Without realizing it, both men s pursuit of revenge was what led to the loss of the only that they still held dear to them. Revenge is a kind of wild justice said Francis Bacon. Here, revenge is not only wild, it is blinding.