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If I can catch him once upon the hip I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare I ii1 Once upon a time there lived humans who lived in caves and used sticks and rocks as tools During this time there was no need for complex human emotion or higher level thinking just the pure and raw will to live The law of the land was based on the theories of retribution and revenge - an eye for an eye These feelings are considered to be part of basic human nature something William Shakespeare used to portray in one of his most popular if not best play Hamlet Prince of Denmark Although many of Shakespeares plays like the Merchant of Venice portrays this theme of revenge it is more focused on in Hamlet which amplifies the theme through the main characters of the story Fortinbras the Prince of Norway nephew of Old Fortinbras Old King Hamlet who was killed by his brother Claudius Prince Hamlet the son of Old King Hamlet and Laertes the son of a Lord Chamberlain Polonius The first notion of revenge is introduced by the first character to bring a sense of conflict to the story - Young Fortinbras Prince of Norway The son of a slain king Fortinbras seeks vengeance on the entire country of Denmark even though the sole responsibility for his fathers death was caused by a battle he had with Old King Hamlet Fortinbras son of the slain King of Norway is the first to seek revenge Horatio a friend of Hamlets said As it doth well appear unto our state but to recover of us by strong hand and terms compulsatory those foresaid lands so by his father lost I i101-104 Through this sentence Horatio is saying Fortinbras plans to forcefully regain the land King Hamlet took from King Fortinbras Fortunately Claudius the new King of Denmark intervenes
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