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|GR: Vengeful Laertes
Written by Cheryl
(5/19/2003 10:43 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: I may as well admit it, penned by Mary Anne
I don't care for him much either, but he seems to have as many sides to him as his father does. And a case could be made that he has every bit as much cause as Hamlet to extract revenge: he also had a father murdered and in addition, a sister sent into madness and death. He seems to have lost even more than Hamlet, though Hamlet only committed Windbag-icide rather than Regicide, so perhaps the offense is less? ;-)
And it could also be argued that not only does Laertes have cause, that he is a man of action who is eager for his vengeance, unlike Hamlet who vacillates during most of the play as to whether or not to extract his revenge.
There are all kinds of parallels between the two, and each faced with similar decisions make different choices. Hamlet agonizes over his revenge. He contemplates the nature of man, the state of his soul, his place in the universe, the divine plan - killing a king is no light thing and he struggles and wrestles with himself over it.
Laertes procures an unction from a montebank and has no hesitation over killing a prince.
So, while there are commonalities between the two, Hamlet is certainly held up to be the finer man, the more "noble", the more superior in nature.
] Yes, and he's an expert swordsman, so if he's seeking revenge on Hamlet for the death of Polonius, why need he depend on more than that? Ahhh, yes, because he's being manipulated by Claudius, who has already chosen poison as his favourite weapon.
Oh, everyone is hedging their bets there, aren't they, planning to poison Hamlet twice over. It does seem a bit much, doesn't it? ;-)
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