How Does Fortinbras Get Revenge In Hamlet

Good Essays
Have you ever been wronged by someone so badly that you felt as though revenge was needed? Perhaps your best friend stole the woman you loved, so you felt that you needed to act and do something to get back at him. Maybe you destroy his life by starting a false rumor about him, or you get in a fight with him and humiliate him. This is just one common example of “revenge” in our everyday lives. In the play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, there are much more serious things going on, involving death, murder, and wars between nations. Fortinbras wants his revenge on Denmark for ruining his country’s honor and killing his father, Claudius wants revenge on Hamlet for embarrassing him and ruining his rule as king, Laertes wants revenge on…show more content…
Denmark ended up winning this war, and the spoils that came along with it included killing Fortinbras Sr. and some land that originally belonged to Norway. At the beginning of the play, we find out that Fortinbras is angry about this, and wants to get his revenge on Denmark for taking everything away from him and restore Norway’s honor. However, Fortinbras Sr. agreed to the conditions of the war before it even began. This is shown on page 8 where it reads, “...who by a seal’d compact...Did forfeit, with his life, all those lands.” Fortinbras is not justified in getting revenge on Denmark at all. His father agreed to the terms of the war beforehand and Fortinbras needs to just cut his losses and move on. Obviously, Fortinbras doesn’t do this. Fortinbras method of getting revenge is to “...go to gain a little patch of ground / That hath in it no profit but the name” (89). Now at first glance, it does not make sense for Fortinbras to go to war over a patch of land that is completely worthless. There are no mines, no farm, no natural resources of any kind on this little patch of land, so why would he waste lives and his time going to war over a worthless piece of land. Later on, it is explained why he is doing this, page 90 reads, “But greatly to find quarrel in a straw / When honour’s at the stake.” Fortinbras isn’t worried about the patch of land at all, frankly, he couldn’t…show more content…
When Hamlet Sr. returns as a ghost, he said to Hamlet, “...sleeping in my orchard, / A serpent stung me...The serpent that did sting thy father’s life / Now wears his crown” (28). Hamlet learns here that Claudius was the one who killed Hamlet’s father, and Hamlet has already decided he would get revenge on his father’s killer. Hamlet’s method of revenge is the best method of the four different methods. The first reason for this is his mindset about his revenge. When speaking of his revenge, Hamlet proclaims, “I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records...and they commandment all alone shall live / Within the book and volume of my brain...” (30). Hamlet’s only focus until his revenge is carried out, will be his revenge. The reason why this is a good thing is that it will keep him from putting off his revenge till later times, causing him, first of all, to strike when the moment is presented, and second to not put it off for too long where he won’t be able to get his revenge anymore. The second reason his method is the best method is because he makes himself look innocent and harmless. He plans to, “...put an antic disposition on-” (32). By making himself seem crazy and insane, it allows him to seem like he is harmless. People don’t suspect that the crazy person is actually looking to get revenge, and it gives him the element of surprise.
Get Access