Ophelia And Laertes Act As Foils In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1101 Words 4 Pages
Hamlet Essay

Characters who parallel, yet contrast one another are said to act as foils. Ophelia and Laertes act as foils for Hamlet, as they develop the theme: The murder of a loved one corrupts a person in a way that it triggers acts of irrational behaviour. In the play Hamlet, we are able to see the actions that Ophelia and Laertes take once they experience a murder similar to Hamlet 's.

Ophelia and Hamlet experience the same feelings of grief and despair towards their fathers. After the death of Polonius, Ophelia becomes robbed of her sanity. As Claudius explains, “... Oh, this is the poison of deep grief, it springs all from her father 's death, and now behold!...”(Shakespeare IV, v, 73-74). He implies that Ophelia’s insanity
…show more content…
Leading up to this point, Laertes’ anger consumes him and ultimately, his price was his life. This relates back to the theme, by showing that the murder of Polonius, makes Laertes corrupted and consumed by his anger, which was ultimately the death of him. Hamlet also becomes enraged by the death of his father, and plots to seek revenge on Claudius, explaining: “ Haste me know’t, that I, with wings as swift, As meditation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge.”(I, iv, 49-51). This part shows how Hamlet is so enraged that he will do anything to avenge his father. However, Hamlet 's anger consumes him, which later on leads to him killing Claudius, which ultimately is the cause of his death. Although, there is contrast between Laertes and Hamlet. As Hamlet waits months before he seeks revenge, Laertes acts right when he is notified. Relating back to Laertes acting as a foil to Hamlet, this shows parallel and contrast between the two characters as they both were driven by anger from their father 's death.

Characters who parallel, yet contrast one another are said to act as foils. In Hamlet, Shakespeare develops the theme: the murder of a loved one corrupts a person in a way that it triggers acts of irrational behaviour, to show that Ophelia and Laertes act as a foil for Hamlet. Laertes acts as a foil for which he is driven by his anger, as Ophelia acts as a foil for which she is consumed by her grief and

Related Documents