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The Foils of Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet

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The Foils of Hamlet

Many playwrights utilize foils to assist the audience in understanding the meaning of a play or the motivations of the characters . Foils are minor characters that have similarities or differences with a major character. Sometime the minor character is in the play so the major character has someone to speak with. The similarities between the foil and the major may include gender, same social class, or may be in the same situation. The differences between the two may be an important aspect in their character. The foils in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet are the Ghost, Laertes, and Ophelia.

The Ghost of Hamlet's father is a foil for Hamlet. The ghost is in the play so Hamlet has someone to speak with. The ghost gives the information of how he died and who committed the murder. While Hamlet is talking with the ghost, he becomes very angry with his mother and uncle. He decides he wants revenge from Claudius for the murder of his father. Both Hamlet and the ghost think Claudius should pay for what he has done. Another similarity between the ghost and Hamlet is that they are from the same social class. Those were a few examples of the similarities between Hamlet and his father.

Along with similarities, Hamlet and the ghost have a few differences. The ghost was murdered before the beginning of the play. The audience finds out about the death when the ghost is talking to Hamlet. Hamlet dies at the end of the play while he was fighting with Laertes. When Hamlet and his father talked about his mother, he said he wanted to punish her for what she has done. The ghost told him to leave his mother alone and that she would eventually be punished. The ghost said it was fine for Hamlet to go after Claudius. Hamlet was mad at his mother for marrying his uncle and the fact that she did not wait long enough after her husband's death. The ghost helps to explain why Hamlet wants revenge.

Laertes is another foil for Hamlet. Laertes was in the play so Hamlet would have someone to fight at the end of the play. Both Hamlet and Laertes want revenge for their father's death. But Laertes want revenge from Hamlet. [SV Agr -1] Hamlet killed Polonius by accident when he was in his mother's bedroom because he thought it was the king.
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