In Hamlet, how does the theme of revenge relate to Laertes and Hamlet?

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It is important to recognise the way in which Laertes and Hamlet are constantly compared and contrasted throughout the play. Both want to go back and study, though only Laertes is allowed. Both have fathers who are unjustly killed, and both want to revenge themselves against the perpetrators. The difference...

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It is important to recognise the way in which Laertes and Hamlet are constantly compared and contrasted throughout the play. Both want to go back and study, though only Laertes is allowed. Both have fathers who are unjustly killed, and both want to revenge themselves against the perpetrators. The difference is that Laertes is yet another character who, compared against Hamlet's endless procrastination, shows Hamlet up and questions his determination to revenge his father. Note what Laertes says when he finds out about his father:

How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with.

To hell, allegiance! Vows to the blackest devil!

Conscience and grace to the profoundest pit!

I dare damnation. To this point I stand,

That both the worlds I give to negligence,

Let come what comes. Only I'll be revenged

Most thoroughly for my father.

This stands directly in contrast with Hamlet, who spends so much of the time thinking about what has happened and engaged in metaphysical philosophical debate rather than the kind of action that Laertes displays. Both characters therefore have reason for revenge, but the difference lies in the way in which Laertes immediately acts to get that revenge whereas Hamlet delays and pontificates endlessly.

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