Prince Fortinbras In Hamlet

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The classic play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare is a work that has and will continue to test time. In this piece of work, there are many characters that contribute as foils. A foil is a minor character in a literary work that by the similarities and differences in what the character does or by simply being there for another character to talk to, helps the audience understand a more important character. Throughout the novel Hamlet, Shakespeare uses the main protagonist, Prince Hamlet, to show who his foils are; the reader will be able to witness contrast and similarities through the character development between Fortanbras, Laertes and Hamlet. The character Prince Fortinbras is the foil that is most similar but yet different, to Prince Hamlet,…show more content…
Laertes brings much to the plot and to Prince Hamlet's character development. These two are similar in many ways. They both seem to be about the same age and are well educated. One main thing that they have in common is that they both are seeking revenge for their fathers’ deaths. Both of their fathers were unnecessarily killed. Prince Hamlet's father was killed by his father's brother for the crown and his wife, and Prince Hamlet killed Laertes' father, Polonius, over mistaken identity. It was the revenge of these two that made up the plot of the story in Hamlet. Laertes takes immediate action. He storms home from France as soon as he hears the news of his father's death; as Laertes arrives he raises a crowd of followers, and invades the palace to find out what has happened to his father and as he enters, he says ". . . O thou vile king, Give me my father!"(IV, v, 114-115). As shown, Laertes is taking his father’s death in a much more decisive stance than Prince Hamlet. Laertes goes straight to the issue and immediately demands vengeance on Claudius, whom he thinks is responsible for Polonius' murder. Laertes is ablaze with motivation and action, and says that he will throw "conscience and grace to the profoundest pit"(IV, v, 130). Unlike Laertes, Prince Hamlet doesn’t take any action when he was first informed about his father's death, which in comparison shows how both Prince Hamlet's and Laertes's personalities are in contrast with each
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