1. Hamlet, Claudius and Laertes all share similar dilemmas. Compare and contrast
how each approaches his problem.
Most people call Hamlet a tragic hero but, they forget that Claudius, Laertes and Hamlet all share similar problems. Their dilemmas lead them to death and tragedy. These men approach their troubles in different ways and cause conflicts in their lives. Firstly, Hamlet must avenge the death of his father, Secondly, Claudius’s ambition leads him to killing his own brother, and finally Laertes also must avenge the death of his father. Hamlet, Claudius, and Laertes are different characters by themselves, but together they all share similar conflicts and dilemmas.
Although Hamlet is son to the late King of Denmark who was murdered, he is still only a prince and not a king. When he sees the ghost of his father, he finds out that his Uncle Claudius killed him. Hamlet is already disgusted at the fact that his uncle and mother got married two months after the death of his father and they never told him their plans. This causes Hamlet to avenge the murder of his father and to rectify what is wrong. Although Hamlet is persistent and loyal to his father at the same time he cannot control his anger and is unable to decide. An example of this is when Claudius is trying to pray and Hamlet although he is angry cannot decide if he should kill him or not. Hamlet is always delaying the murder and this leads him to his grave. Hamlet has a plan, but he can be called a perfectionist because
he wants everything to be exactly right and benefit from it. Therefore, Hamlet approaches his problems with time and patience but because of his indecisiveness, his plans were foiled.
On the other hand, Claudius is not indecisive and acts quickly without delay. He murdered the father of Hamlet and almost immediately married Gertrude the mother of Hamlet. He quickly became King of Denmark and father to Hamlet. Claudius was jealous of his brother and his thirsty ambition made him commit all the evil deeds that he did. The longer he has his power, the more he wants it to last forever. His problem is his ambition because it makes him do all the terrible things he did. At times, he shows that he wants the best for Denmark and his family. An example of this is in Act 1, scene 2 when Claudius talks about his late brother and is showing his love for him. He also wants to prevent a war against Norway and talks about further business. When he finds out that Hamlet is a threat to him, he is clever because he gets Laertes to do the dirty work for him and wastes no time for his pan to succeed. Finally Claudius approaches his conflicts with quick action and his resolutions only enlarge his guilt.
Unlike Claudius, Laertes can not control his temper and he is easily convinced. When he found out that his father was dead, he assumed right away that Claudius killed him. He did not bother getting all the facts and information
because he was angry and just wanted to avenge the death of his father. When Claudius told him that Hamlet killed his father, no questions were asked and Laertes was easily convinced. Laertes is independent and responsible. He went to Paris to go live by himself and he is willing to take responsibility for his actions in Paris. Laertes wants to kill the murderer of his father right way, but Claudius has a plan and tells him to wait. Laertes approached his problem also with haste and without reasoning. He wanted to take justice into his own hands, but wanted to do it without any delay. He did not care what he had to do or who he had to kill as long as he was able to avenge the death of his father. In the end, his own sword kills him because he approached his problem with haste and did not take time to think his plan through.