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Foils In Hamlet Analysis

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2.) By juxtaposing the Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia family and the Claudius, Hamlet, Gertrude family, we can notice some similarities in the family as a whole as well as individual foils between the characters. Though Claudius isn’t Hamlet’s true father, for the sake of the juxtaposition, we will assume such relationship. In scene III of act I, Polonius and Laertes misunderstand Ophelia and try to help her realize that her actions, though pure and honest, are incorrect due to the situation in which she’s in. Similarly, Claudius and Gertrude attempt the same with Hamlet, who, even though is in a different situation, is (according to his parents) committing the same flaw (pure and honest yet incorrect actions in general). The individual foils fall…show more content…
Another foil in the play is seen between Claudius and Polonius. Further along in the play, Polonius is seen as weak yet politically adept due to the fact that though he’s not considered a man of prestige he has risen up to be the king’s counselor. Claudius, on the other hand, can be considered corrupt and strategic as he has married his late brother’s wife no more than two months after he, according to the ghost (I,v, 37), killed him (Old Hamlet) in order to keep the throne. Finally, though during act one we can’t truly identify a foil between Hamlet and Laertes. However, further along in the play we can see how this foil is more and more apparent. For example, how Laertes, according to the public, is more fit to be king due to his bravery and charisma, while Hamlet though brave as well, is more of an intellectual. The fact that Hamlet took a while and investigated before killing Claudius while Laertes immediately came from France to avenge his father’s death without thinking it through is an epitome for the foil of these two
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