The Players that appear in Scene 2 define Hamlet’s love for the arts and demonstrate his cleverness as they become his “weapon.” This “weapon” function is a sort of parallelism of Hamlet to Claudius as they both use others to achieve their secret agendas. While Claudius tries to use Laertes to kill Hamlet, Hamlet uses the players to “catch the conscience of the king” (II.ii.567). ...
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...s way, minor characters are more important to any play than their role and dialogue would suggest. The Players show how youthful Hamlet is and his strengths in using reason but also show how he is close to his enemy Claudius in ideas and actions. Fortinbras continues to show, through his own strengths and potency, Hamlet’s weaknesses and impotency. He starts out as a starkly contrasting foil but functions to show Hamlet’s maturity at the end of the play as the two become closer and respect each other. The skull of Yorick, even as a character with no dialogue or motion, helps to transform Hamlet from a naïve youth to a mature adult, capable of making decisions even in the midst of horrors. All of the minor characters in Hamlet, just like these three, help to characterize and develop major characters and without them, the tragedy would have no depth and no growth.
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