Fortinbras functions as a foil to Hamlet throughout the play. His situation parallels Hamlet’s disposition as they enter the plot of the play. Both are princes of their own countries, their fathers have been murdered, and both are on the verge of succeeding as the next heir to the throne. The only obstacles that prevent them from the throne are their uncles, the favored successors after their fathers. While Hamlet seeks revenge against his own uncle for murdering his father in cold blood, Fortinbras’ father is murdered by the hands of H...
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...is plan to fruition after the events of the play, while Hamlet exists only as a remembrance.
Fortinbras does what Hamlet could never do. Perhaps most significantly, Fortinbras acts decisively and lives whereas Hamlet's fiasco results in a tragedy. By exposing and emphasizing Hamlet's many strengths and weaknesses as they appear throughout the play, Fortinbras in some aspects is the antithesis of Hamlet's tragic flaw. Although the Prince of Norway assists in the understanding of Hamlet, he does not fully describe the inner workings of the protagonist, thus testifying to the complexity of an individual and Shakespeare’s genius. Some people have been dissecting the character of Hamlet for years. While some characteristics can be attributed, others can only be left as questions. As long as people continue to discover Hamlet, more facets will reveal themselves.
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