Wrongness In Hamlet

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Theodore Roosevelt, our twenty-sixth president, once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Being able to make sound decisions that will satisfy one’s desires and benefit others is extremely difficult, so in order to not make the wrong choice, many people are indecisive. In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet is like most people -- unable to make the decision of whether or not to kill the one presumed to be his father’s murderer, Claudius, in fear that he will kill an innocent man if Claudius is in truth innocent. Even though some choices may lead to a wrong action, being decisive is a trait that will help one achieve…show more content…
He finds out about his father’s death, marches into King Claudius’s throne room, and demands, “O, thou vile king. / Give me my father!” (4.5.26-30). Even in the face of the king, Laertes shows no hesitation. He says, “Let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged / Most throughly for my father.” (4.5.153-154). To Laertes, it does not matter whether it is a lowly servant or the king who kills his father; he will exact revenge on whomever the culprit. Claudius tells Laertes that Hamlet has killed Laertes’s father, and after learning that the person who killed his father also played a part in driving his sister mad which resulted in her death, Laertes’s determination to take retribution and kill Hamlet strengthens. During the duel, in which Laertes is supposed to pierce Hamlet with a poisoned rapier, Hamlet tells Laertes that “madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy.” (5.2.253) and asks Laertes “Free me so far in your most generous thoughts / That I have shot my arrow o’er the house / And hurt my brother.” (5.2.256-258). After hearing this, Laertes’s resoluteness falters slightly and says that he is “satisfied in nature” (5.2.259), but in “terms of honor” (5.2.261), he has to kill Hamlet. Regardless, he still says “And yet it is almost against my conscience” (5.2.324). Unlike Fortinbras’s unwavering resolve, Laertes’s determination is not as firm. As a result, Laertes manages to achieve his goal, but ends up dying himself. He says, “I am justly killed by mine own treachery” (5.2.537) -- treachery to Hamlet as well as treachery to his determination to obtain
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