To be a foil character, one must “contrast with other characters in order to highlight particular qualities of the other characters.” Throughout Hamlet, four prominent characters are foil characters to Hamlet: Laertes, Fortinbras, Horatio and Claudius. In many cases, Hamlet and the foil characters react differently for each other in varying situations but yet show similarities in their reactions. The relationship created between Hamlet and Laertes takes a shift from the beginning of the book towards the end.
In Hamlet Act 1 scene 3, Polonius gives a speech to Ophelia about Hamlet’s intentions, tries to warn her about her relationship with Hamlet. Polonius is a selfish yet caring father, he uses different tones, dictions, metaphor, and puns to warn Ophelia that Hamlet is just playing around with her and she should not fall for it. Polonius talked to Ophelia in a sarcastic tone. When Ophelia told Polonius that she thinks Hamlet has shown his “affection” towards her, Polonius said she is like a “green girl unsifted in such perilous circumstance” (110-11). He mocked Ophelia for being so naïve and foolish like a child that she cannot see through Hamlet’s lies and false vows.
In the tragedy, Hamlet, written in the Elizabethan era, the idea of revenge is showcased by Prince Hamlet, in his pursuit to honour his promise of revenge to his father, King Hamlet. The reader follows Prince Hamlet as he struggles to accept that oppression, force and murder are necessary to avenge his uncle Claudius. Throughout the play, the reader watches Hamlets dignity, sanity and sense of reason deteriorate, as he struggles desperately to bring revenge onto his father’s suspected murderer, King Claudius. In Act one scene five, Hamlet is confronted by his father's ghost and is assigned with the duty of getting revenge on his uncle Claudius.
He now sees it as his job to disabuse her of the notion that Hamlet could be acting honourable. With good intentions. Despite Ophelia’s defence of the Prince, her father dismisses the Laertes’ words with a cynical metaphor, saying that Hamlet’s apparent earnestness is merely a ply to catch Ophelia, a silly bird Drawing upon his own experiences when he was young, Polonius appears to be judging Hamlet by his own base standards, again echoing what his son had earlier said to Ophelia. A woman should bring honor and fortune to her family, and the image Ophelia gives off for him very much concerns Polonius. Both Laertes and Polonius tell her that the man that she loves is using her.
Polonius Vs. Zazu When comparing and contrasting William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Disney’s The Lion King the characters have similiar levels of comparison. Both Hamlet and the Lion King are stories centered around the following elements; truth, deception, revenge, romance, and the circle of life. The characters in both of the stories are constantly working to find their place in the circle of life throughout the story.
Though any character in Shakespeare's Hamlet could easily be the epitome of lunacy, there is no character more obviously unsound that Ophelia, whose personality is the embodiment of codependency. Every time Ophelia speaks the symptoms are apparent as she can not seem to converse about anything but men. This is stereotypical of women at the time,in society as much as in literature. One can not fully blame Ophelia however as she is a product of her time period and used by the other characters. Ophelia’s character not only confirms Hamlet's suspicions about women but serves as pawn in the metaphorical chess game between Claudius and Hamlet.
Hamlet is a play full of questions and mystery causing many of the characters to change as it progresses. But they all seem like a minute change when compared to the immense change of Hamlet. One of the characters that changes a lot throughout the play is Ophelia. At the beginning of the play she is presented as a beautiful naïve young lady who is in love with young Hamlet. She is a very obedient girl as she will do anything her father tells her to, for example: in act one scene three, Ophelia speaks about her love towards Hamlet to both her brother, Laertes, and her father, Polonius.
Despite that a single woman ruled England at the time of William Shakespeare, the Elizabethan society was still much patriarchal. Hence, it leads to the society being “Unfeminine Pursuits”. Based upon the historical context where Shakespeare had written Othello, Hamlet, and Macbeth, as female characters are portrayed as subservient and unimportant as a whole while confronting the societal constraints. Since, Renaissance society did not traditionally value the freedom of women, although the ruling of this society was running by the “independent” women. As this society always portrayed the ideal woman who is beautiful and obedient while retaining her strength and independence.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a revenge calamity which concentrates on his wish and effort to solve his father’s murder. Throughout the course of the play, the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia could be described as a rollercoaster. Although Ophelia is not in every single scene in Hamlet, her impact on the play is highly noted. One way a reader could interpret her presence is because of how tragic her experiences in life is. She experiences the misfortune of love and security, but in order for her death to be truly tragic, she has to come to terms with the realization of her powerlessness without the men in her life.