In William Shakespeare's masterful play, Hamlet, Laertes responds to his father, Polonius', death by taking immediate action. He rushes home to Denmark (he had been in France), incites a mob, and storms the castle to avenge his father. Initially, he assumes King Claudius had killed his father, but Claudius tells him that Hamlet was the true culprit.
Laertes conspires with Claudius to kill Hamlet during a planned fencing match. Instead of using the customary dull sword, Laertes brings a sharp, poisoned sword to the match. Both men end up being killed by the poisoned blade. Laertes strikes Hamlet first, but the two men switch swords during the scuffle. Consequently, Hamlet also strikes Laertes with the poisoned sword. Both men ultimately die from their wounds, but not before they apologize to and forgive each other.