Harm In Hamlet

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Indirect Harm Turns to Direct Harm The Playwright William Shakespeare began writing Hamlet in 1599 and didn’t finish until 1601. Today Hamlet is one of the best-known plays throughout the world and is one of the centerpieces of Shakespeare’s playwriting résumé. In William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the main character, after his father’s death, Hamlet develops a scheme for revenge against Claudius, the kin-slaying murderer of his father, and in so doing, affects Ophelia and Laertes both physically and emotionally until their deaths. *Ophelia, once hamlet’s lover, daughter of the murdered Polonius, is mistakenly driven to insanity by the actions and mind games of Hamlet. Ophelia is deeply in love with Hamlet and she is set to become the Princess…show more content…
Ophelia’s other love in her life, not sexually, is her father, Polonius. Polonius, while listening into Hamlet’s conversation, but Hamlet uncovers his plot by stabbing the tapestry and Polonius cries out “Oh, I am slain” from behind the curtains (Shakespeare III. iv. 25) Hamlet proceeds to rub salt in Ophelia’s wounds by killing her father and driving her father towards insanity. “Hamlet kills the unarmed, elderly, eavesdropping Polonius” in his pure rage and in so doing it harms Ophelia by taking away the sole person left who keeps her sane (Rosenberg). Ophelia is at a loss and so she becomes suicidal. Ophelia “took her own life” according to the gravediggers (Shakespeare V. i. 242). Gertrude also says that after Polonius death she became even more insane and was singing when she drowned herself in the river. Ophelia’s “life is filled with woe” and because of Hamlets actions she is forced, in her mind, to kill herself (Rosenberg). Ophelia is a tragic character that is influenced, even to her death, by Hamlets physical actions against her and her…show more content…
Laertes, furious with Hamlet, falls into collusion with Claudius’s plan to kill Hamlet by poison “with this contagion, that, if [Laertes] gall[s] him slightly, it may be death”(Shakespeare IV. vii. 146-147). Both Claudius and Laertes want to kill Hamlet and an easy way to kill him is to use poison tipped swords. Laertes wants Hamlet to die by experiencing “nightmarish experiences for [a] man’s soul” through the poison (Rosenberg). During the skirmish Hamlet accidentally uses Laertes poisoned sword after getting them mixed up after a collision. It is broadcast to play goers by the transcript with playing out how “Laertes wounds Hamlet; then in scuffling, they change rapiers, and Hamlet wounds Laertes”(Shakespeare V. ii. 285-286). Hamlet using Laertes’s sword kills Laertes and later Claudius. This leads to Fortinbras asking “effectively what “feast of death” has occurred”, after seeing the dead bodies of Laertes, Hamlet, Claudius, and Gertrude. Laertes final act was getting revenge on Hamlet for his actions against his family but in so doing Hamlet also kills him accidentally with his own poisoned sword. Hamlet is a tragic hero in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, even though he is a hero he has a profound negative affect on those around him. His actions lead to the death of his entire family and his girlfriend’s family. Hamlet effects specifically
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