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Victims of Circumstance

            The Shakespearean piece, The Tragedy of Hamlet, is a story of many themes. This is perhaps why students worldwide are taught it in school. Or perhaps it is because of the diversification of these themes, and thus the diversification of responses it invokes, that makes Hamlet so well received by both students and scholars alike. Of these themes, the strongest theme, or rather, the most obvious, is that of revenge. That is not to say that because it is obvious, it is therefore simple. No one knows the extent of William Shakespeare's genius, but it is known that when it comes to his works, things are hardly simplistic. In fact, it is believed that the theme of revenge is also one of the more complicated themes because of whom it involves and how it is brought about by the characters that desire it. The characters of whom I speak of are Fortinbras, son of the late King Fortinbras, prince of Norway; Laertes, son of the late Polonius (Lord Chamberlain to the King) and brother to the late Ophelia; and Hamlet, son of the late King Hamlet, prince of Denmark. As one can see, they all have something in common; they are all sons to murdered fathers. As one reads on, specifics will arise that will make other similarities apparent as well as shedding some light on the methods and motives behind the aforementioned characters' quests for vengeance. .
             Firstly, there is the son of the late King of Norway, Fortinbras. In the nature of his revenge, he has embarked on a military campaign to regain for his country the lands that were forfeit when his father was slain in a duel with the late King Hamlet. .
             "Now, sir, young Fortinbras Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there shark'd up a list of lawless resolute to some enterprise which is no other-- As it doth well appear unto our state--But to recover of us, by strong hand and terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands.
             So by his father lost -.
             -- (I.i.95-104).

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