Both Laertes and Hamlet demonstrate a commitment to revenge in Hamlet. Who is more negatively affected by it?Both Laertes and Hamlet demonstrate a commitment to revenge in Hamlet. Who is...

Both Laertes and Hamlet demonstrate a commitment to revenge in Hamlet. Who is more negatively affected by it?
  1. Both Laertes and Hamlet demonstrate a commitment to revenge in Hamlet. Who is more negatively affected by it?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Personally, I think Hamlet is more sensitive.  He isemotionally torn by the prospect of revenge throuhout the entire play.  It eats him up inside.  He doesn't know if he's seeing things or not, and if he isn't seeing things if he should take revenge.  It almost leads him to kill himself.

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It's true that, in the end, the negative effect on them is equal--death. I would probably make the case this way: Hamlet's motivation for revenge was pure and Laertes' was adulterated. The Ghost tells Hamlet why he should take revenge on Claudius, and he speaks the truth. Claudius tells Laertes why (and how) he should take revenge on Hamlet, and he speaks self-serving lies. In the end, Hamlet asks Laertes' forgiveness for accidently killing Polonius. Laertes has to ask Hamlet's forgiveness for believing the lies of a villain and then killing Hamlet. Laertes seems to me to be in the worse position.

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Hmmm, well they both end up dead, don't they?  Can either of them really be said to be "more negatively...

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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