Importance Of Foil Characters In Hamlet

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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 the exposition, Laertes is introduced as the brother to the beautiful Ophelia, the girl to whom Hamlet secretly loves. As a “loving” friend and relative, they both share a common bond in wanting to care for Ophelia, but the future shows differently than what they intended. When Ophelia died towards the end, that common bond they shared for her grew stronger and added to the fire that ultimately drew them to go against one another. Hamlet became rejectful of the news and anger soon took over. When confronted by Laertes and challenged by his feeling for …show more content…

Both walk in the same path of power; princes of their countries. Both experience the same dilemmas; uncles who come to be in control of the throne by means that are not acceptable. Hamlet has the nagging feeling of revenge that is carried with him throughout the entire story and ultimately leads to his clashing at the end. However, Fortinbras has the feeling of want and cannot wait to be king. Towards the beginning, Fortinbras army almost started a war to claim land back that was rightfully theirs, but since he wasn’t the king yet, more or less, he got his hands slapped. That caused him anger and fueled the fire, just like Hamlet, to take the seat at the throne even sooner. However, as the story ends and in Hamlet’s final breaths, he bequeaths the throne of Denmark to

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