Preview
Preview

Contrasting Fortinbras and Laertes with Hamlet Essay

:: 7 Works Cited
Length: 1951 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 
   In William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet, Laertes, Fortinbras and Hamlet find themselves in similar situations.  While Hamlet waits for the right time to avenge his father's death, Laertes learns of his father's death and immediately wants vengeance, and Fortinbras awaits his chance to recapture land that used to belong to his father.  Laertes and Fortinbras go about accomplishing their desires quite differently than Hamlet.  While Hamlet acts slowly and carefully, Laertes and Fortinbras seek their revenge with haste. Although Laertes and Fortinbras are minor characters, Shakespeare molds them in order to contrast with Hamlet.  Fortinbras and, to a greater extent, Laertes act as foils to Hamlet with respect to their motives for revenge, execution of their plans and behavior while carrying out their plans.

 

            Although each character plots to avenge his father in the play, the motives of Laertes and Fortinbras differ greatly than that of Hamlet.  Fortinbras, who schemes to rebuild his father's kingdom, leads thousands of men into battle, attempting to capture a small and worthless piece of Poland. After his uncle warned him against attacking Denmark.  The added land will do little to benefit Norway's prosperity, but this campaign may cost "two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats" (4.4.26) .  This shows that pride is a driving factor behind Fortinbras' plan because he is willing to put the lives of his countrymen at risk for a minimal gain.  Laertes, on the other hand, is compelled to seek revenge because he loses his father and eventually his sister.  The root of Laertes' revenge appears to be the love for his family because he proclaims that he will "be revenged / most throughly for [his] father" (4.5...


... middle of paper ...


...side Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1974.

 

Mack, Maynard. "The World of Hamlet." Yale Review. vol. 41 (1952) p. 502-23. Rpt. in Shakespeare: Modern Essays in Criticism. Rev. ed. Ed. Leonard F. Dean. New York: Oxford University P., 1967.

 

Rosenberg, Marvin. "Laertes: An Impulsive but Earnest Young Aristocrat." Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Masks of Hamlet. Newark, NJ: Univ. of Delaware P., 1992.

 

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995. http://www.chemicool.com/Shakespeare/hamlet/full.html

 

Ward & Trent, et al. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907-21; New York: Bartleby.com, 2000 http://www.bartleby.com/215/0816.html

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Importance of Laertes and Fortinbras in Hamlet Essay example - The Importance of Laertes and Fortinbras in Hamlet The Shakespearean play, Hamlet, is a story of revenge and the way the characters in the play respond to grief and the demands of loyalty. The importance of Fortinbras and Laertes in the play is an issue much discussed, analysed and critiqued. Fortinbras and Laertes are parallel characters to Hamlet, and they provide pivotal points on which to compare the actions and emotions of Hamlet throughout the play. They are also important in Hamlet as they are imperative to the plot of the play and the final resolution....   [tags: Hamlet William Shakespeare Plays Essays] 1290 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
King Claudius: The Villain In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essay - In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, revenge is a common theme throughout the play. Almost every major male character in the play, whether it is Prince Hamlet, Laertes, the Ghost of King Hamlet, or King Fortinbras of Norway, is acting with purpose to avenge a death. The obvious exception to this trend in the play is Claudius, King of Denmark and brother of King Hamlet. Instead of possessing a noble or vengeful purpose throughout the play, Claudius is instead motivated by more evil qualities like his greed and deceptive natures....   [tags: Hamlet Essays] 684 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Suicide Theme In William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - In Hamlet, the passionate and hasty Laertes and the vengeful Fortinbras are foils for Hamlet's introspective personality and provide a basis for comparison of the hero's course of action. Laertes and Hamlet share a common goal of revenge for the murder of their father. Though their situation and the circumstances of their father's death coincide, their individual responses to the fatalities differ greatly, and serve to highlight Hamlet's tragic flaw. Upon hearing of his father's death, Laertes becomes totally preoccupied with thoughts of revenge....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet] 1004 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Foils of Laertes and Fortinbras in Hamlet Essay - 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,...   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]
:: 3 Works Cited
1035 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Hamlet's Pursuit of Revenge Essay - Through previous years, philosopher’s have tested numerous theories that help us in defining the nature of our being, often these are stalled by the nuanced thought behind our heart and mind. Philosophers often believed that we were slaves to our passions despite our reasoning, even now this could be proven by acts of love, but more than often proven it can be seen through our desire for revenge. Unlike it’s counterpart [avenge], revenge is both a verb and a noun that can be not only acted upon but attained....   [tags: shakespeare, novel passion, emotions]
:: 1 Works Cited
1189 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Laertes and Fortinbras as Foils for Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - Laertes and Fortinbras as Foils for Hamlet          Hamlet, the major character in the Shakespeare play of the same name, was faced with a decision upon learning that Claudius murdered his father. Should he believe the ghost, and avenge his father's murder. Or is the ghost evil, trying to coerce him into killing Claudius. Throughout the play, we see Hamlet's struggle with this issue. Many opportunities arise for him to kill Claudius, but he is unable to act because he cannot convince himself to believe the Ghost....   [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet] 1639 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Fortinbras, Laertes and Horatio, as Foils to Hamlet Essay - Fortinbras, Laertes and Horatio, as Foils to Hamlet          "What a piece of work is a man!" (II, 2, 305). In his statement Prince Hamlet, in his role as the star character in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, acknowledges the complexity of man; as "infinite in faculties. . . express and admirable. . . like an angel [or] like a god. . . and yet. . . [a] quintessence of dust" (II, 2, 307) is man described. Shakespeare emphasizes the observation by casting Hamlet as "a man," exposing his strengths and weaknesses through the contrast provided by Fortinbras, Laertes and Horatio, as foils to the tragic hero....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet] 1063 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Parallels in Hamlet by William Shakespeare - Parallels in Hamlet by William Shakespeare In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the importance of characters Laertes and Fortinbras have been an issue that's discussed and analyzed by many literary critics. Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras are parallel characters in the play. Laertes and Fortinbras are often use by Shakespeare to compare the actions and emotions of Hamlet throughout the play. "They are also important in Hamlet as they are imperative to the plot of the play and the final resolution" (Nardo, 88)....   [tags: Papers] 779 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Kenneth Branaugh's Hamlet or William Shakespeare's Hamlet? Essay - Kenneth Branaugh's Hamlet or William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Kenneth Branaugh may have had the script of William Shakespeare's Hamlet spoken down to every last thee and thou, but one must remember that this is Hamlet through Branaugh's eyes, not Shakespeare's. Therefore, dismissing obvious additions made for adapting the play to film, such as having a real castle instead of a stage, it is possible to observe the unique characters, interpretations, actions, and setting that make this version the director's own....   [tags: essays research papers] 1917 words
(5.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Laertes, Claudius, and Fortinbras as Foils of Hamlet - Laertes, Claudius, and Fortinbras as Foils of Hamlet        In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, the young Prince Hamlet must deal with murder, corruption and incest. The foils to Prince Hamlet, give the reader a basis to summarize his character within the play. Such foils include Laertes, son of Polonius, Claudius, current king of Denmark and stepfather of Hamlet, and Fortinbras, the prince of Norway.       The first foil or character that sets off Hamlet, in the play is Laertes. After King Hamlet's death, he, along with Prince Hamlet, return to Denmark for the funeral services....   [tags: Free Shakespeare Essays] 807 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]