In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare he shows how duty and obligation are closely connected to death. Death, duty and obligation come hand in hand and prove to be the downfall of Hamlet and Laertes. To prove this I will examine the life of Laertes as well as Hamlet. Hamlets sole duty in life was to avenge his fathers death. A sons duty to his father can lead to destruction. After Hamlet learned that the death of his father arose out of jealously from his uncle Hamlet became enraged with anger and wanted to avenge his uncle; Claudius.
Hamlet puts on a play for Claudius and the others to see. “The Murder of Gonzago” This play was put on solely to see if Claudius would react to the play in which old Hamlets murder was re-enacted. The play proves Claudius is responsible. Throughout the play Hamlet lets on that he is mad so that others aren’t aware of the scheme that he plans to carry out. While carrying out his scheme Hamlet is aware that someone is spying on him. He thinks that it is someone Claudius sent and decides to kill him, he later finds out that is was Polonius.
Hamlet being too jumpy executes one of his friends. All this happened because of procrastination on Hamlets part. “Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent: Whe! n he is drunk asleep, or in rage, Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed, At gaming, swearing, or about some act that has no relish of salvation in’t” Hamlet is still procrastinating which leads to his downfall. After Hamlet killed Polonius the second time is always easier so killing Claudius would be nothing more than swinging a sword.
Claudius becoming aware of Hamlets plan tells Laertes about the death of his father; Plonius. This enrages Laertes and he too wants to avenge the death of his father. With the word of Polonius being killed his son Laertes comes back from France and is raving mad about the death of his father. After he returns to Denmark he soon learns that Hamlet was the sole killer in his fathers death. Laertes can’t wait to fight Hamlet and show him that the duty and obligation to ones father can lead to destruction. Hamlet too realizes this and is prepared to fight.
Just before they fight Hamlet apologies to Laertes for what has happened to his father. During the dual the sword with the poison and the other one gets mixed up and both Hamlet and Laertes die. But before Hamlet dies his vengeance for father is taken care of and Claudius dies. Throughout the entire play innocent people die for the simple reason of duty and obligation, duty and obligation prove to be the downfall of Ophelia; Laertes; Polonius and Hamlet. This is how duty and obligation are closely related to death and come hand in hand.