The Theme Of Laertes And Fortinbras In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, many themes are explored that allow the audience to analyze into their deeper meanings. One example of such is the theme of revenge and its connection with one’s loyalty towards their father. This is seen clearly in the characters of Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras. Laertes is the son of Polonius, a nobleman of Denmark, while Fortinbras is the son of Fortinbras Sr., the deceased king of Norway. In regards to the structure of the play, both Laertes and Fortinbras serve as foils to oppose Hamlet. It remains true that the expectations one has for Hamlet can be found in the traits of the other two. The fundamental truth found in the characters on Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras is their passion on revenge for the crimes…show more content…
Hamlet is seen mourning the loss through wearing black clothes in the beginning of the play. After learning the possible cause of his father’s death, he procrastinates taking action immediately and waits until he finds the right opportunity. This is seen through his play taunting the reaction of Claudius and by turning back on killing him while praying in Act (). Laertes in contrast, goes straightforward to the direct cause, bringing a mob with him and asking Claudius directly for the reason of the murder. Seeing the lack of honour given to Polonius in his funeral and his sister turning crazy as a result, has fueled his desire to take revenge on Hamlet. Hamlet is seen to relate to Laertes situation saying “But I am very sorry, good Horatio, / That to Laertes I forgot myself; / For, by the image of my cause, I see / The portraiture of his: I 'll court his favours. / But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me / Into a towering passion” (5.2.80-85). The motives of Fortinbras were first learned in Act one through Horatio talking about how the old king Hamlet beat his father in a battle for territory. Now that Hamlet Sr. has died, Fortinbras has grown eager to take back what his father had lost with a strong desire to fight. In further contrast to both Hamlet and Laertes, Fortinbras plans out his actions rationally and executes them wisely. Hamlet in the play is even seen acknowledging these two people…show more content…
These two characters serve as foils to Hamlet which shows the other possibilities on how to act. The death of their fathers led them to act in different ways and in the end, only one survived. With their different approaches, only one proved to be superior which is to act rationally and deliberately. The theme of revenge was deeply explored by Shakespeare by illustrating our human nature to act based on vengeance. Hamlets in the beginning felt unprepared to directly face his revenge therefore his approach to take everything into consideration and to reflect seemed wise, however proved to be too slow. Laertes rash behavior to get to the revenge proved to be ineffective as he was easily controlled by anything to approach him. Fortinbras was the ideal middle ground between the two, taking deliberate action, yet not acting to harsh with the situation. That is why, in this tragic ending of a play, Fortinbras was really the only one to consider this to be a comedic
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