/Words without thoughts never to heaven go” (3.3). Hamlet’s flaws are shown through other contrasting characters that always act and show no restraint like Hamlet does. One of these foil characters is Laertes who wants revenge for his father’s, Polonius, death. Laertes tells Claudius that he is so determined for revenge that, “To cut his throat I’ the church” (4.7), which directly contrasts Hamlet. Hamlet was not willing to act and cut Claudius’s throat in the church, but Laertes is so willing to kill him in the church if that’s what it
Hamlet rests in peace in his death, having got what he wanted. Although he does not live to see it, the society had got a different leadership which was free of malicious people like Claudius. The play is not a comedy where the hero lives. In Hamlet, the hero dies but he dies a hero having achieved his goal and the reason why he was called. The climax where the hero has to almost encounter death.
Hamlet shows his admiration for Fortinbras by saying: The imminent death of twenty men; That for a fantasy and trick of fame; Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot. (4.4.60-63) Here, Hamlet is fascinated with the fact that Fortinbras would wage a battle for land that has no meaning. Fortinbras is a manly warrior and shows the ability to take action. Similarly, Laertes is known for being a good fighter, a man of action, and having the ability to lead. During the play, Laertes states, “To cut his throat i’th’ church”(4.7.98).
I will forestall their repair hither and say you are not fit.” (5.2.223) Not listening to Horatio, Hamlet duels with laertes and is struck with a poisoned blade. With Gertrude poisoned by wine Hamlet successfully completes his mission in revenging his father's murder and killing Claudius. Although avenging his father's death, Hamlet’s fate still leads to his passing by Laertes poisoned blade. Horatio, witness to the seen is ready to follow Hamlet even into death. As Horatio picks up the cup to follow hamlet into death Hamlet makes him stop.
Fortinbras illuminates this. He took immediate action and tried to honor his father in the best way he could. He ended up completing his goal and taking over Denmark in place of his father. Both Laertes and Hamlet died, showing that lack of action and overexcited action don’t
All of these characters seek revenge for the death of their fathers by taking the matter into their own hands: Fortinbras seeks war against Denmark (former King Hamlet killed Fortinbras’ father), while Laertes returns from Paris to Eslionor to fight for his dead father 's honor. However, the way these two characters carry themselves is much different than the way Hamlet does. He, himself speaks of Laertes and Fortinbras as people who are basic contrasts to him. The reader understands this in Act IV, Scene iv where Hamlet describes Fortinbras and his valiant character and promises to become somewhat more like him. Hamlet says, "Witness this army of such mass and charge/ Led by a delicate and tender prince,/ Whose spirit with divine ambition puff 'd/ Makes mouths at
Yet once again, Hamlet demonstrates the will to act, but does not realize his goals in a courageous manner. Yes, Hamlet does kill Claudius in the conclusion of the play, but his final epiphany “let be” is merely a simple acceptance of anxiety, rather than a final, courageous action (V. 2. 196). Accepts the duel, falling into Claudius’ and Laertes’ trap. Ultimately, Hamlet’s inaction is greatly caused by his thoughtfulness, which overshadows impulsive behavior and action.
Hamlet could have succeeded in both avenging his father and staying alive to tell the story, like Fortinbras, but failed. Even though Hamlet ended up successful in killing Claudius, he dies by the same sword, therefore, making him unsuccessful overall. Fortinbras’s goal was to avenge his father and gain back the land he had lost. He gains the territory, avenges his father, and now is in line for Denmark’s throne as well as Norway’s, an overall success. By adding this comparison, the audience empathizes with Hamlet, even more, adding to the simple classical
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.
Hamlet was agonized by this news and professed his love for the late Ophelia in a challenging likeness with Laertes. Everything came to a conclusion in this very room when Hamlet and Laertes playfully battled with swords. What started out as a game ended in the poisoning of the queen by her new husband. This occurred just prior to Hamlet and Laertes poisoning each other with a venomous sword and then Hamlet avenging his father murdered the scheming king Claudius. This tragic scene must contain some poetic justice as Hamlet did indeed get his revenge.