Analysis Of Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' Essay

1357 Words Mar 23rd, 2016 6 Pages
Foils in literature are characters who are used as parallels and contrasts with another character in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character. In the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, while almost every character is a foil to Hamlet, one especially stands among the crowd- Laertes. Hamlet and Laertes are placed in very similar situations throughout the course of the play. Hamlet’s father was murdered and felt duty-bound to seek revenge the same way Laertes’s father was murdered and he felt duty-bound to seek revenge. However, in the case of reactions, Laertes took immediate action while Hamlet was slow to act. In terms of character, they share many similarities and differences. Both can be quite impulsive but while Laertes has a single-minded and furious drive, Hamlet has a cautious tendency to overthink. Finally, in terms of love for Ophelia, both men love Ophelia but the type of love is quite different. Furthermore, Shakespeare uses Laertes as a foil so as to draw attention to aspects of Hamlet that reveal the true nature of his character. In the play, Hamlet and Laertes both experience the death of their fathers and both shared a common goal: revenge for their father’s unjustifiable death. However, their reactions to it are different. When Laertes learned of his father’s death he immediately responded to the situation by coming home from Paris, wanting to stage a revolution in his dead father’s name, and allowing his anger to be known. This can…

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