Hamlet and Laertes are juxtaposed in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in order to portray two parallel characters that both seek revenge because of the murder of their fathers. Hamlet is trying to avenge Claudius, his uncle/stepdad, for killing his father, King Hamlet, while Laertes is trying to avenge Hamlet for killing his father, Polonius. The only difference between them is that Hamlet holds back on his revenge whereas Laertes goes for it right away. The reasoning for this is that Laertes’ revenge is more personal and he does not care about the consequences, but Hamlet has more of a conscience and in fact does take consequences into consideration. This is where the theme of action versus inaction comes into place. When Hamlet had a chance to easily kill Claudius he used the fact that he was praying as an excuse to post-pone the murder. In the play he says, “Now might I do it pat. Now he is a-praying/And now I’ll do ’t. And so he goes to heaven” (Shakespeare 3.3.73-74). Hamlet believes that if Claudius is doing something holy when he is being killed, he may...
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...e dies and to not hold onto King Hamlet’s death so much. Ophelia and Gertrude are similar by their circumstances and the choices they make, but extremely different when it comes to their reactions to death.
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet it is evident that juxtaposition is used to compare and contrast the characters’ circumstances and morals. Hamlet and Laertes are similar because they both seek revenge from their father’s killers for the same purpose. Hamlet and Fortinbras are also similar for the same reason, but they have much more in common such as, having controlling uncles on the throne and both being princes. Ophelia and Gertrude are similar because they’re the main female roles, but differ when it comes to their reactions to death. In conclusion, Shakespeare uses juxtaposition to create contrast between the characters and to accentuate the characters as well.
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