The Foils of Laertes and Fortinbras in Hamlet Essay

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The Foils of Laertes and Fortinbras in Hamlet

William Shakespeare wrote the classic play, Hamlet in the sixteenth century. Hamlet would be a very difficult play to understand without the masterful use of foils. A foil is a minor character in a literary work that compliments the main character through similarities and differences in personality. The audience can identify similarities and differences between any of the characters and Hamlet, however, there are two characters that share so much in common with Hamlet that they have to be considered the most important foils in the play. These two characters are Laertes and Fortinbras. It is the great similarities between Laertes, Fortinbras, and Hamlet that make the
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Betrayal was also a similarity shared by the two. Hamlet betrayed his father when he speaks spitefully toward his mother in her chambers. Laertes betrays King Claudius in the end when he tells of the plot to kill Hamlet. The two characters had many things in common but they also had differences. The biggest difference between the two was their haste at revenging their fathers. Hamlet thought a lot about how and when to kill Claudius. Hamlet was concerned about much more than just the revenge of his father. He was worried about his own salvation and the salvation of King Claudius. Laertes did not contemplate at all about the revenge of his father. He first thought it was King Claudius that killed his father and brought a rebellion to the castle to kill the King. When Laertes found out that it was Hamlet he just wanted to kill him, it was King Claudius who devised a plan and thought out the murder of Hamlet. The biggest difference in their attitudes toward revenge is shown by the fact that Hamlet would not kill Claudius in prayer because he might go to heaven, but Laertes didn't care and said that he would kill Hamlet in the church. This clearly differentiates the amount of thought put into revenge between the two characters. The similarities between the characters allow the audience to compare them, but the more important use of this foil is the difference. Aristotle
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