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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Hamlet, too, has been seeking a great argument or justification for his actions, and this contrast helps to illustrate further the internal struggles and motivations of Hamlet's character. Overall, Fortinbras's presence throughout the play adds depth and complexity, as his contrast with Hamlet helps further develop and deepen our understanding of the main
Due to the opposing temperaments of the foil characters, their interactions with the protagonist, either have a major effect on the story or their character development. In Hamlet, the lack of influence of an active character, such as Laertes, or Fortinbras, delays his development. Laertes is absent for a majority of the play, and when he does return, both he and Hamlet are in opposition to each other. The result of their opposing temperaments, interacting in such a negative fashion, is disastrous. When Laertes discovers that his father was murdered, he says “To hell, allegiance!
Hamlet and Fortinbras have similarities such as they both have lost their fathers, both have their uncles on the thrown of their country, and they both seek revenge because of the mourning of their fathers. Hamlet and Fortinbras are different because Hamlet overthinks things whereas Fortinbras takes action first and thinks about it later, Hamlet is also unwilling to act if he is unsure of it and Fortinbras will put people at risk to get revenge. What readers and audience members come to understand as a result of the similarities and differences that exist between Hamlet and Fortinbras is that they are basically opposites of each other. Hamlet overthinks things a lot and you never really know what his actions are going to be,
Though Hamlet is aware of what things may come under the rule of his uncle, he is slow to action, which some might contribute to his"extreme sensitive nature" (Knight 3); however, deep down Hamlet harbors a need to be completely sure of the facts surrounding his father's death before he can convince himself to take action. Hamlet's own insecurities about whether or not he should take action severely halts his efforts at canceling fate, and it may be argued that his insecurities even made it stronger. On the other hand, it can be argued that Hamlet is simply enacting his free will in the way that he chooses to wait and be sure, rather than to take action against Claudius right away as his father's ghost wants him to. This brings about an internal conflict for Hamlet because outwardly, one is able to see that he is nervous of Denmark's fate, comparing it to "an unweeded garden that grows to seed" (Shakespeare 1.2.135-136) under Claudius' reign. Perhaps if Hamlet did not wait so long to take action, he might have been able to save many lives and rule the kingdom himself, thus changing the country's fate.
In “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”, William Shakespeare uses the sayings and behaviors of many of his minor characters to show his audiences the true characteristics of the protagonist, Prince Hamlet. This literary device is called a foil. A foil is a character whose traits help to clarify the character of the protagonist. In this famous play, Prince Hamlet has many foils. Laertes is the most effective foil to Hamlet because of how his life and reactions compare to that of Hamlet.
Hamlet was a prince but he never acted like one. He could take revenge by being the king and punish his uncle, Claudius. His procrastination never gave any solution to him rather it brought
Lastly, Laertes is a character in Shakespeare’s play that is used as a character foil for Hamlet, meaning his character traits contrast noticeably with Hamlets. Laertes is a very decisive character who immediately acts on his desires, even if they are not necessarily logical or well thought out. He makes the choice to go to France to continue university without a second thought whereas Hamlet wanted to return to university but was persuaded to stay. Once Laertes hear’s of Hamlet murdering Polonius, he promptly returns to Denmark and knows undeniably that he wants revenge. He immediately begins to form a plan with Claudius to murder Hamlet, with no doubts whatsoever about his choices.
A Deeper Analysis on Character Foils of Hamlet in Hamlet Character foils often allow the reader to better understand a protagonist’s personality and desires. In the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Horatio, Claudius, and Laertes are exemplar character foils for the protagonist, Hamlet, and under further examination, the play suggests that these character foils help the reader to really resonate with Hamlet and depict the contrasts and similarities between Hamlet and other characters in the play. These character foils are important and significant in highlighting another character’s flaws and traits in which they may not have, compared to another character in the play. To begin with, Horatio plays a huge role in being the character foil for Hamlet.
When people's ideas of a heroic act differ from others, people can be seen as a villain while they are looking to become just the opposite. This is revealed in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet where the titular character Hamlet murders Laertes, Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and when he doesn’t murder Claudius while he is
He is Hamlet’s love interest’s brother who implicates Hamlet’s success through conflict. Hamlet sparks the rivalry between the two families by killing some of the family members. By executing Laertes father and Polonius, this causes Polonius’ son, Laertes, to seek vengeance for his father. Consequently, Hamlet’s family goes against him and his love, Ophelia, kills herself. This demonstrates that family ties, even if not blood related, have serious impacts on Hamlet’s life which causes misery to overwhelm his life; this misery prohibits his success.
Hamlet Character deception is a common characteristic that has and will be a reflecting characteristic in literature for centuries. In many of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, deception, whether positive or negative, is being used to mislead, to protect characters, or to hide a crime or future crime. Analyzing why the characters are using deception against each other is very important to the reader’s understanding of the work as a whole. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, He uses Hamlet’s deception of character and also the character’s use of deception towards Hamlet to carry out the overall theme of the tragedy. The theme that is represented, is that in able to get malicious revenge, you must be able to act as if you are someone different than your true self while in turn, being able to deal with others deceiving you.
First, Hamlet is very intelligent and knows when someone is using him, but Laertes is not very intelligent and is easily tricked. Laertes is very gullible. Second, Hamlet is indecisive although, Laertes will not hesitate to do what he wants to do in order to get his revenge. Clearly, Hamlet and Laertes have similarities and differences. It is important that we recognize the the differences and similarities of these characters that I described.
Hamlet is William Shakespeare 's renowned tale of mystery, intrigue, and murder, centered on a young misguided prince who can only trust himself. Some may say that the actions of Prince Hamlet throughout the play are weak and fearful, displaying a tendency to procrastinate and showing an apathetic nature towards his family and peers. Others spin a tale of a noble young scholar, driven mad by the cold-blooded murder of his father by his uncle. In truth, I believe Hamlet is neither of these things. Hamlet is a sort of amalgamation of the two, a bundle of contradictions thrown together into one conflicting but very human mess of a character.
However, Hamlet soon discovers that Claudius has been lying to him, and Claudius’ real motive is to kill Hamlet in order to exterminate all possible threats to his reign. Claudius’ role play affects the entire country of Denmark, and he convinces the people that he is the rightful king, when he is not, and has murdered his brother for the throne. Gertrude, too, takes on a role; throughout the play, she seems oblivious to her wrongdoings. She claims that she loves Claudius, and did not just marry him for political reasons.