The Similarities Between Hamlet And Laertes

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August Napier once said, ““In each family a story is playing itself out, and each family 's story embodies its hope and despair.” William Shakespeare sets his play, Hamlet, as a comparison between Hamlet, Fortinbras, and Laertes. All three of these young men have lost their fathers and demonstrate different goals and methods of seeking vengeance. Shakespeare creates a triple mirror of relationships in Hamlet by showing the different approaches the men take to achieve the same goal- to avenge their father’s deaths.
Hamlet wants revenge on his uncle Claudius for killing his father, but delays his retribution. His first excuse is that his informant, the Ghost, is just a devil in disguise attempting to convince him to commit a sin, “Maybe a {devil,}
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He wants to avenge his father’s death right away. Shakespeare sets Laertes up as one of Hamlet’s foils by making them the same age, similar fathers, similar revenge goals, both love Ophelia/ mourn her death, and both leave and study abroad, creating a mirror between the two men. Despite these similarities, Laertes is the complete opposite of Hamlet because he is bold and hasty. He comes back to Elsinore and demands that Claudius explains his father’s death. Without any questions, Laertes agrees to duel Hamlet, unaware of any malevolent schemes Claudius has up his sleeve. Laertes and Hamlet are on two completely different ends whereas Fortinbras, Hamlet’s other foil, is the neutral, ambitious, yet subtle …show more content…
His father was killed by King Hamlet, however Fortinbras does not seek revenge the same way the other two men do. Fortinbras creates a practical plan to reclaim his lands. Fortinbras is a man of action, similar to Laertes, however he is not as rash as Laertes. Rather than procrastinating like Hamlet, Laertes has a hands-on mission to regain the honor that his family lost along with his father’s death. Although Fortinbras only appears for a little bit throughout the play, Shakespeare still presents him as a foil in the beginning of the play from the moment Horatio mentions him, “Now, sir, young Fortinbras, of unimprovèd mettle hot and full, hath in the skirts of Norway here and there sharked up a list of lawless resolutes, for food and diet, to some enterprise that hath a stomach in ’t, which is no other (as it doth well appear unto our state) but to recover of us, by strong hand” (15). Being the more logical foil, Fortinbras is one of the few characters who do not meet a tragic downfall. Shakespeare shows through his foils that thinking in a reasonable way without being too imprudent or vigilant is a much better way of

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