What is a good thesis statement centering on Hamlet's and Laertes's revenges in Hamlet?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In considering a thesis regarding the revenge that both Hamlet and Laertes seek, the student may wish to consider the differences in their  motivations.  Consider, for instance, that Laertes wishes to live in France and has no love for Denmark.  He is brash and bold, crashing into a scene as, for example, when he returns to Denmark after learning of his father's death.  He rashly enters into the plot with Claudius in order to wreak havoc with the political state by slaying Hamlet:

My lord, I will be ruled;

The rather if you could devise it so

That I might be the organ. (4.7.67-69)

Unlike Laertes, who feels no patriotism, Hamlet strongly senses his obligations to the political state.  Indecisive --"My soul is full of discord and dismay"(4.1.45)--because he debates the magnitude of an act of revenge that could be regarded as regicide, Hamlet tries to repulse Ophelia so that she will not be hurt by his future actions, or even widowed if he is punished for his act of killing Claudius. Thus, Hamlet's motives are never ulterior, while for the impulsive Laertes they are.

Therefore, in creating a thesis on the revenge of Hamlet and Laertes, the student may wish to state that both Hamlet and Laertes have a plan to avenge the deaths of their fathers, but they differ in their reasons, their motivation, and methods.   

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