In “Hamlet,” Shakespear uses revenge as a major theme. The characters of Hamlet and Laertes both seek revenge for the death of their fathers. Hamlet takes a long thought out course of action while Laertes moves faster at his attempt for revenge. Throughout the play, we see Hamlets struggle with getting revenge. He is constantly fighting inner feelings about whether or not it is right. When Laertes enters the play with his plan for revenge, he moves quickly and does not care what happens to him. Although Hamlet and Laertes are both taking revenge, Hamlet thinks about the entire process instead of taking action while Laertes acts quickly and only thinks about revenge. .
Beginning in Act I we see the theme of revenge begin with Hamlet. Mourning and depressed after the death of his father, he is visited by a ghost. This ghost appears to be that of his dead father King Hamlet. Hamlet learns that his uncle Claudius is responsible for the death of his father. The ghost asks Hamlet to “revenge his foul and must unnatural murder.” At this point Hamlet takes the duty upon himself to kill Claudius. .
During Act 2 a company of touring actors come to the palace. This group of actors helps Hamlet to realize several things. First, Hamlet persuades one of them to deliver a speech. After hearing the speech, Hamlet recognizes, to his shame, that he has shown less intensity in avenging his father’s murder than the actor has done in the performance. “Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave, that I, the son of a dear father murdered, prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words and fall a-cursing like a very drab.” Hamlet feels like a coward. The actor portrayed so much emotion and passion for something that really meant nothing to him. It was all an act. In Hamlets case, it is real, and he reacts with less response to something that is so important such as the avengence of his father’s murder.