Hamlet And Foil Characters In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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By looking at the character Hamlet in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet one can see that Hamlet is juxtaposed with foil characters (Claudius, Fortinbras, and Laertes).This is important because the reader can see how not acting upon events led to Hamlet’s Hamartia. Shakespeare uses these foil characters to set up literary concepts of hamartia, anagnorisis, and peripeteia. Hamlet is greatly influenced by his foil characters, also the reader is able to see how Hamlet has been impacted by his Hamartia. Hamlet is impacted by Anagnorisis with his recognitions between the foil characters. Hamlet is changed by peripeteia, the definition of peripeteia is the the reversal of bad to good, or good to bad, but in Hamlet’s tragedy Shakespeare shows the disaster that occurs.

The definition of Hamartia is a fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero. The definition of downfall is a loss of prosperity, or status, as well Hamlet’s power is being diminished. Shakespeare portrays Hamlet and Laertes both as foil characters, but Hamlet was Ophelia’s lover, and begins to tell him why “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers/ Could not with all their quantity of love/ Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?” (V.I.286-287). The downfall of Hamlet can be contributed as being distracted by Ophelia, as well Shakespeare shows the love of forty thousand men with his hyperbole for the most amount of love Hamlet could give. Shakespeare shows how Hamlet is being impacted by his foil character
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