Importance of Kinship ties in Hamlet?In Hamlet, How does Kinship calm or redirect conflict ?

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tisjay | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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In 'Hamlet' the ghost of King Hamlet asks Hamlet to avenge his murder. It was expected according to the codes that governed behaviour of that time, that sons must avenge their murdered fathers. Hamlet accepts this as his duty. However, he is also a puritanical Christian who believes that killing someone, even in revenge, would imperil his immortal soul. Thus Hamlet's dilemma is brought about due to these two opposing instincts and impulses within him. Laertes and Fortinbras are less worried about their immortal souls and more intent on avenging their "murdered" fathers. Thus kiinship ties have furthered conflict in the case of these three sons of murdered fathers. In Hamlet's case, his disgust at the actions of his own mother, who had begun an adulterous relationship with his uncle who ended up murdering his brother, King Hamlet, further exacerbates the conflict. In Laertes' case, in addition to the assassination of his father, his sorrow over the insanity and death of his sister, for which he blames Hamlet, makes him act in a rash and imprudent fashion. However, kinship can also have a calming influence. When Hamlet rants at his mother, the ghost of King Hamlet suddenly appears and warns him to calm her down. Later, the queen herself tries to calm Hamlet down, when he seems out of control.  Fortinbras is dissuaded from going to war with Denmark by his uncle, Norway; And Laertes is persuaded by Claudius, not to vent his spleen on him but to save his anger for Hamlet. Here he deflects Laertes' anger and re-directs it cunningly towards another target, Hamlet.

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