Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras are all revengers, but Hamlet is the only one who struggles philosophically with the moral problems created by revenge.
Hamlet: AS & A2
Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras are all preoccupied with the honour of their families, especially their fathers. It drives them to seek revenge.
Hamlet’s ‘crafty madness’ (III.1.8) enables him to pursue revenge and comment satirically on the corruption of the court; Ophelia’s real madness is the consequence of grief.
The play suggests that appearances are deceptive; Claudius is a practised, smiling villain, while Gertrude is ‘seeming virtuous’ (I.5.46). Their righteous exteriors are cultivated to hide corruption.
A cynical politician, Claudius’s lust for power leads him to commit crimes against his family and the state; he believes the ends justify the means.