Essay about Horatio and Laertes as Foils in Hamlet

Good Essays

Horatio and Laertes as Foils in Hamlet

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare is a play about a man's revenge for his father's murder and all the tragedy that comes along with it. The play takes us through the emotions and doubts Prince Hamlet finds within himself after speaking with the presumed ghost of his father, the former King of Denmark. Through Hamlet we meet Horatio, a friend of Hamlet's and a fellow student. When reading [ref] the conversations between Hamlet and Horatio, it becomes clear how Hamlet feels about his father's murder and his plans to avenge this murder. We also meet Laertes, son of Polonius and sister to Ophelia. Through
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To be a foil there must also be some differences between the two characters, and there are some minor differences in Hamlet and Horatio. These differences help to show Hamlet's character. Horatio seems to be more realistic and more sincere. This is shown when he does not take advantage of his friendship with the Prince and always treated and addressed Hamlet in the proper manner. This ceremonial language is countered by Hamlet's request that Horatio treat him like an ordinary man and call him by no other name except Hamlet. Act I, Scene 3, is the first meeting between Hamlet and Horatio since arriving at the castle. Horatio addresses Hamlet as his lord and calls himself Hamlet's poor servant. Hamlet counters this by saying "Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you". Hamlet is saying that he will call Horatio by his proper name and Horatio should do the same.

To be a foil, the character also has to be a sounding board for the main character, someone that, for instance, Hamlet can talk to
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