During Laertes's absence, Hamlet kills Polonius in Gertrude's parlor. Laertes, informed of his father's death, returns to Denmark, and leads a mob to storm and take the castle. Laertes confronts the King, thinking he was responsible for Polonius' death. The King explains to him who the real killer was, and incites Laertes to kill Hamlet and avenge Polonius' death.
When Ophelia appears in her mad condition, Laertes laments, saying that if she had her wits she could not persuade him more to revenge. Later, Laertes is informed of her death. She had climbed into a willow tree that hung over a brook, and then fell into the water when a branch broke. Too insane to save herself, she drowned. His sister's death strengthens Laertes' resolve to kill Hamlet. At her funeral, Laertes asks why the normal Christian burial cermony is not being carried out for his sister, and rebukes the priest for questioning her innocence. He leaps into her grave and begs the attendants to bury him with her, only to have Hamlet suddenly leap in with him. The two have to be held back in order to avoid a fight.
"I dare damnation. To this point I stand,|
That both the world, I give to negligence,
Let come what comes; only I'll be reveng'd
Most throughly for my father."
Other characters' views of Laertes vary widely. Polonius, feels a need to send a servant to France to spy on his son's behaviour. Ophelia tells him not to be a hypocrite, telling her to behave herself with Hamlet, but then being immoral himself in France. Hamlet is at first puzzled by Laertes hatred for him, but later admits that he sees his own cause displayed in Laertes actions.
"I'll be your foil, Laertes. In mine ignorance|
Your skill shall, like a star i' th' darkest night,
Stick fiery off indeed."
Olympic terror real threat, but we can't give in Where are we totally safe anymore? We can't live like turtles. But we can live like humans. And let come what may.
Mar 26, 2004; I don't want to die. Not this summer, anyway. But we live in a different time than we did three years ago, and what comes, comes....