Shakespeare 's Actions And Motives Essay

1400 Words Feb 23rd, 2016 null Page
Considering the difference in actions and thoughts between Fortinbras and Hamlet, Shakespeare is able to affirm to his intentions of creating a foil character to highlight the downfalls of Hamlet. Shakespeare allows the audience to question Hamlet’s actions and motives by using different foil characters to compare his actions to. Claudius, Laertes and Fortinbras are all foil characters for Hamlet, however it is Fortinbras that Hamlet is able to best connect to and therefore the best for the audience to draw comparisons to. By highlighting the comparisons and contrasts of both characters, I shall show that through creating Fortinbras Shakespeare was about to elaborate upon Hamlet’s shortcomings as a hero.
Both Hamlet and Fortinbras lead very comparable lives. Both lost their fathers at the hand of someone else, Hamlet’s father dying at the hand of his uncle Claudius, and Fortinbras losing his father at the hand of the late Hamlet in war. Both of these young men are direct heirs to their respective throne, but Fortinbras and Hamlet want to avenge the death of their fathers. Fortinbras is first introduced in Act I, when Horatio reveals that “Sharked up a list of lawless resolutes” (1.1.5) to attack Denmark to avenge the death of his father. He chooses to do this in midst of the confusion and grief in hopes to regain the land that Norway had lost when the late Hamlet killed Fortinbras’ father. Shakespeare states that Fortinbras is bringing in “lawless resolutes” as a way to…

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