Essay On Foils In Hamlet

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My sister and I may have the same last names, but that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to our personalities. Our personalities highlight each other's differences. Tay may silence a room with her straight to the heart snarky comment. But it is my tactfulness and submissive attributes that gathers the attention of the crowd. Similarly, to my sister and I, Hamlet and Laertes are foils. A foil is a character that contrast the protagonist in order to highlight his qualities. Laertes, Claudius, and Fortinbras are all foils of Hamlet. These foils function as a means of redeeming or discrediting Hamlet's character.
Laertes and Hamlet are similar in that they both are infatuated with the same girl, that being Ophelia. For example, Laertes, much like Hamlet, loved Ophelia, which is Laertes’ sister. Another way they are similar is they both have father figures. For instance, when Polonius,
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Claudius approaches Hamlet asking him why he can’t get over his father's death(1.2.64-164). Hamlet asks Laertes why he is exaggerating over the death of Ophelia(5.1.267-276). Also, Claudius and Hamlet both kill a King, King Hamlet is killed by Claudius while Hamlet kills Claudius. The first difference is noted when Claudius is curious about Hamlet’s mourning because he is scared that Hamlet will take revenge on him. Hamlet then asked this question to Laertes because he is mad about Laertes’mourning. Another difference can be seen when Claudius’s reason for killing King Hamlet was so he could take his rightful place on the throne, while Hamlet kills Claudius due to his father's ghosts telling him to do so at the beginning of the play. Where Hamlet and Fortinbras differ is that Hamlet was concerned with his position of the throne and defending his father's glory. Whereas the Fortinbras is concerned with conquering and ruling Denmark. This redeems Hamlet’s character by highlighting his
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