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            Macbeth, Romeo and Juliette, Othello, Mid-Summer night's dream, The Merchant of Venice, and Hamlet are only few examples of Shakespeare's plays in which he expresses and portrays death. According to Harold Jenkins, "Murder [in Hamlet] is supposed to rid the world of the satyr and restore it to Hyperion"; however, by the end of the play we discover that Hamlet's inability to revenge his father's murder early on in the play has a negative impact on all the principal characters, including Hamlet himself.
             To begin with, Polonius and Laertes are major characters that contribute greatly to this play. In fact, the first character to die, in Hamlet, is Polonius. It is tempting to presume that Polonius is cunning because he often acts in a deceitful manner when dealing with Hamlet, but to do so would be unwise. Being the king's counselor, it is his duty to obey the wishes of the king and queen, which was to discover the nature of Hamlet's madness. This loyalty eventually proves to be fatal for him. Hamlet stabs Polonius behind the curtain, "O, I am slain."(III.4.25), mistaking the counselor for king Claudius. This makes Polonius" death a tragedy. However, if Polonius were not present in the play, Laertes" loyalty to his family would not have been so strong. In addition, Polonius" death created a conflict between Laertes and Hamlet. Hence, Laertes had a reason to revenge his father's death, and it is why he needed to return to kill Hamlet. Polonius and his death helped develop and carry the plot in Hamlet. This conflict makes Laertes an asset also. Laertes" death is tragic because, although he kills Hamlet, he is avenging his father's death. The murder of Hamlet is due to pressure put on Laertes by Claudius. "What would you undertake / To show yourself your father's son in deed / More than in words"(IV.7.100-101) Laertes, influenced by angry Claudius, conspires to murder Hamlet. This makes Laertes" action excusable and his death a tragedy.

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