+ 1-888-787-5890  
   + 1-302-351-4405  
 
 
 
 

Essay/Term paper: Laertes' role in hamlet

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Argumentative Essays

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on Argumentative Essays: Laertes' Role In Hamlet, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.


Though seeming to simply be a minor character, Laertes is of great importance in the play, Hamlet, and much more than one would initially believe, due to his extensive inner conflict. He is good, loyal, and honourable, seeming to possess the greatest virtue of all the characters, yet he still is doomed to die along with the other characters, precisely because of his great virtue.

As Scene Two begins, in the first lines which Laertes speaks in the play, he requests that King Claudius allow him to return to his duties in France. This is important from the viewpoint that it demonstrates his dislike for the King and his wish to be away from the questionable circumstances of his marriage and subsequent ascension to the throne, a wise decision, and an attempt to remain apart and above the world, as the Greek ÒsupermanÓ is seen to gain immortality by doing, though Laertes does have personal feelings in the matter, unlike the true Stoic, thus his attempt is a failure, though a noble one.

As Scene Three begins, Laertes is speaking with his sister, Ophelia, about her relationship with Hamlet, and warning her to ÒWeigh what loss your honour may sustain,/ If with too credent ear you list his songs,Ó (1.3.29) else she lose her virtue to Prince Hamlet. This exemplifies his loyalty and love for his family, and especially his sister, though she replies to his warnings and advice with the sarcastic reply to do not ÒShow me the steep and thorny way to heaven,/ Whilst, like a puffed and reckless libertine,/ Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads/ And recks not his own rede.Ó (1.3.47) Following this, Ophelia and LaertesÕ father, Polonius, enters, and Laertes departs with a final warning to Ophelia.

Soon after Laertes departs, Polonius meets with Reynaldo, and instructs him to bring money for Laertes, but first to spy on him and to make sure that he stays out of trouble. It seems that it would be difficult for Laertes to not know of this messengerÕs second duty as spy, as it is mentioned in the text ÒYou must not put another scandal on him,Ó (2.1.29), implying that this has happened before, somehow. From this, one could feel that Laertes expects this from his scheming, plotting, underhanded father, he still goes along with it, and harbours great love for the old man, as is shown on LaertesÕ return to England.

While Laertes is off in France, however, Polonius is killed by Hamlet, the Queen recalling that he ÒWhips out his rapier, cries ÔA rat, a rat!ÕÓ (4.1.10), implying that Polonius is indeed a ÒratÓ, in the most underhanded and demeaning sense of the word. Then, Ophelia goes mad the same night as Laertes returns to Denmark, with an armed mob shouting for him to take the throne, though he finds it against his honour to take the throne from Claudius by force, and only wishes to find what has become of his father.

Though Polonius was spying on him, and Laertes most likely was aware of his fatherÕs ways, he still feels great love for the old man, and desires only revenge for the wrongful death of his kin. He declares that he will repay his friends, and have vengeance on those who are his enemies. To this, King Claudius replies ÒWhy, now you speak/ Like a good childÓ(4.5.143), and though he finishes the statement with Òand a gentlemanÓ, the implication is left that Laertes is like a child, rushing headlong into the unknown, the first implication of LaertesÕ own tragic flaw. Directly after this is said, Ophelia enters, and Laertes, further incensed at the fate of his remaining family, cries out ÒBy heaven, thy madness shall be paid with weight,/ Till our scale turn the beam.Ó (4.5.152), this line being an implication of the scales being thrown out of balance, and further attesting to LaertesÕ impending doom.

At this point in the story, Laertes has followed his loyalty, love, and honour to the decisive point, and the scales have tipped off balance. He has tried the Stoic way, similar to Horatio, of staying totally apart, but has failed in this attempt, and he now tries to take the other end of the spectrum, to balance his previous inaction with the action of vengeance, and revenge. He makes a plan with Claudius to poison Hamlet during a fencing match, and even brings his own poison with which to anoint his swordÕs blade, another stone on the scales, tipping them too far to the other end of the spectrum, and thus unbalancing them again. Seemingly to drive this unbalancing in, Ophelia suddenly drowns for no discernible reason, and Laertes forces down his grief, and after Laertes leaves, King Claudius says ÒHow much I had to do to calm his rage!/ Now I fear it will start again;Ó (4.7.193), showing that even the other characters are realizing that Laertes has become unbalanced, so to speak.

In the following scene, during the burying of Ophelia, Laertes has become so inflamed that he threatens that the priest will go to hell while his beloved sister is in heaven, and then he nearly strangles Hamlet while they are both standing virtually on top of OpheliaÕs corpse, in the grave! If there was still any question of LaertesÕ flaw, it has again been shown that his virtues have driven him past the edge.

When the final half begins of Act Five, Scene Two, Hamlet and Laertes are ready for the fencing match, and Hamlet begs forgiveness for all transgressions against his foe. Laertes, knowing fully that Hamlet is doomed to die because of LaertesÕ deal with Polonius, forgives Hamlet and has the perfect way out, and the perfect chance to balance the scales, but, due to his great desire for vengeance he goes on with the match, and the plan to kill Hamlet, effectively closing all routes of retreat.

Once Laertes has poisoned Hamlet, Hamlet Laertes, and Queen Gertrude has drunk from the poisoned cup, however, LaertesÕ honour finally takes control, and he admits his guilt, and tells all of the kingÕs plot to kill Hamlet, even though it does no good. The scales are broken.

Laertes enhances the message of consistency in the play, through the extremes of his own actions. He shows that all the qualities of the characters are akin to standing on a ball, and the more one leans to one extreme or the other, without totally jumping off the ball, the more momentum is gained, and the more force is needed to offset the rolling of the ball, which is just as likely to send on spinning at a greater speed in the other direction! The only two examples of characters who have gotten off the ball are Horatio and Fortinbras. Horatio being the extreme neutrality of Stoicism, his inaction leading to his not becoming caught up in the events, since he is merely an observer, and Fortinbras is action taken to just as far of an extreme, he has no indecision or change of heart, and he is able to pass by and over all that stands in his way. Laertes tries both ways, but since he cannot decide which path to take, he exemplifies the metaphor to its fullest, only getting off the ball after it has passed over the cliff. Seeing his error and the path to success, he cannot go back, and is doomed, learning-as do all other characters who cannot stay with their path-that indecision is the true enemy.
 

Other sample model essays:

Argumentative Essays / Land Of Imagination
"LAND OF IMAGINATION" Just as Moses climbed Mount Sinai to receive the ten commands, the following are the ten laws that govern my most interesting place. 1. Any body suspended in space will...
Argumentative Essays / Langston Hughes 2
History in Langston Hughes's "Negro" The topic of Langston Hughes's "Negro" deals with an extremely general description of the history of African Americans or blacks from the pre-1922 era until ...
Argumentative Essays / Langston Hughes' Semple
Holli A. Ramsey Ramsey1 Lit 345 February 24, 1997 Langston Hughes is represented in Black Voices by the Tales of Simple. Hughes first presents his character Jessie B. Semple in the F...
Argumentative Essays / Langston Hughes
History in Langston Hughes's "Negro" The topic of Langston Hughes's "Negro" deals with an extremely general description of the history of African Americans or blacks from the pre-1922 era until ...
Argumentative Essays / Languae In Chlidren Today
Year 11 Speech good morning ladies and gentlemen. This is just some of the language that people have to listen to almost every day, and don't fell it is very appropriate. I am speaking h...
Literature Essays / Languge Is A Virus
Language is a virus A written work, whether it is a story, a poem or a song, can be as vague and indeterminable as a painting and given to many different interpretations. It gives an opportu...
Movie Reviews / Last Of The Mohicans
"Last of the Mohicans" Contrast and Comparison While reading "Last of the Mohicans" I found that there are many differences between the book, and the movie. Before I rea...
Literature Essays / Le Cafard Et Bob
Il etait une fois, il y a une femme qui s'apple Mme Metaux. Elle est une bonne femme, et tout le temps elle est jolie, est grand. Mais, une jour, elle morir! C'est terible pour tout le monde, ma...
Literature Essays / Le Colonel Chabert
Le Colonel Chabert exhibits the relationship between strong and weak characters. The degree of strength within a character reflects how well the character survives in society. In society, wea...
Literature Essays / Le Fusil
L'histoire "Le fusil" est ecrit d'un point de vue exterieur. Il decrit la vie d'un couple qui ont un "grand amour use par les annees". La femme dans l'histoire est tres belle, elle est dec...
Experience with Dream Essay - Reliable and great customer service. Quality of work - High quality of work.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Dream Essay - Very reliable and great customer service. Encourage other to try their service. Writer 91463 - Provided a well written Annotated Bibliography with great deal of detail per the rubric.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
it is always perfect
Frederick, Maryland, United States
The experience with Dream Essay is stress free. Service is excellent and forms various forms of communication all help with customer service. Dream Essay is customer oriented. Writer 17663 is absolutely excellent. This writer provides the highest quality of work possible.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Only competent & proven writers
Original writing — no plagiarism
Our papers are never resold or reused, period
Satisfaction guarantee — free unlimited revisions
Client-friendly money back guarantee
Total confidentiality & privacy
Guaranteed deadlines
Live Chat & 24/7 customer support
All academic and professional subjects
All difficulty levels
12pt Times New Roman font, double spaced, 1 inch margins
The fastest turnaround in the industry
Fully documented research — free bibliography guaranteed
Fax (additional info): 866-332-0244
Fax (additional info): 866-308-7123
Live Chat Support
Need order related assistance?—Click here to submit a inquiry
© Dreamessays.com. All Rights Reserved.
Dreamessays.com is the property of MEDIATECH LTD