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Contrasting Fortinbras and Laertes with Hamlet

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Contrasting Fortinbras and Laertes with Hamlet

 
   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 t...


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...ive 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

 

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