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Role of the Avenger in Hamlet

            Sometimes, people have similar goals, but they end up going about reaching those goals in different ways. This is the case in Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras all have the same goal of avenging their fathers’ deaths, which leads to some similarities in their actions, but because of each of the men’s individual motives, they go about getting their revenge in very different ways. .
             Although the three men go about it different ways, they share the same goal of revenge, and therefore similarities exist. When they learn of their fathers’ deaths, each one of them immediately decides that something should be done. Hamlet and Fortinbras each begin to make a plan upon hearing of their fathers’ deaths. Fortinbras and Hamlet are also delayed before they can carry out their plan. Fortinbras was delayed diplomatically, while Hamlet was forced to put off any action until he could find out the truth of his father’s death. When first hearing that their fathers were dead, neither Hamlet nor Laertes knows the truth behind what went on. Hamlet believed that his father had been killed by a snake, and Laertes was under the impression that Claudius had killed his father. Both men were able to find out what happened and then took it fully upon themselves to take action.
             Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras play their role as an avenger differently, although they have similar tasks. Laertes hears of his father’s death and rashly makes his way back to Denmark being followed by an angry mob. He makes no hesitation in taking action to get his revenge. Once King Hamlet kills Fortinbras’ father, Fortinbras begins getting his army ready to attack Denmark. He is prepared to take action, but does not go about things rashly as Laertes did. He is able to be reasoned with and persuaded, by diplomatic means, to hold off his attack on Denmark. He can only wait for so long, however, because he cannot let his father’s death go unavenged.

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