Free Essays on The Foils of Hamlet

Free Essays on The Foils of Hamlet

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The Foils of Hamlet     


William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet the play, in the sixteenth century. This play displays a lot of foils in it. You might ask yourself, what is a foil? A foil is a minor character in a literary work that uses [?] similarities and differences to help characterize the main character. There are two important foils in this play.

     One of the foils in the play is Laertes. He [Who?] compares Laertes to h[H]amlet by using similarities. Laertes (Polonius’ son) is similar to h[H]amlet in that they both want to revenge their fathers. They felt that it was their duty to revenge their fathers in honor of them. Both of them mourn their father's death. They both also care a bout [sic] the well being of Ophelia. Ophelia is Laertes['] sister but also his friend. Hamlet cares for Ophelia by telling her that he loves her. He tries to protect her[,] but in reality he does. [?] Hamlet and Laertes are both system breakers. Laertes doesn’t do what his father tells him to do. Hamlet doesn’t care what he doesn’t care what [sic] he is suppose[d] to do or act like, being the prince in [?] all.

     He also uses differences to describe Hamlet. One of the differences is the way they go about revenging their fathers. When Laertes found out about Hamlet killing his father[,] he went right after him. When Hamlet found out who killed his father, he takes a round about way of going about revenge. He puts on a play that portrays the way his father was supposedly killed to see his stepfather[' H=50]s reaction to it. Laertes was also different in that he was against Ophelia seeing Hamlet because he knew that Hamlet was suppose[d] to marry of higher blood. Hamlet was all for seeing Ophelia because he loved her, even though he was supposed to marry of higher blood.

     The other foil is Cla[u]dius. Cla[u]dius (the new king) is a foil to Hamlet. The similarities they have helps [SV] characterize Hamlet. One similarity is that they are both devious. Cla[u]dius goes behind Hamlet’s father’s back and sees Gertrude [Evidence?] and in the pact with Norway. [?] Hamlet goes behind Cla[u]dius’ back and exposes his uncle’s killing of Hamlet’s father by putting on a play. They both loved Gertrude. Cla[u]dius loves Gertrude as a lover and Hamlet loves her as a mother.

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They both use their friends. Cla[u]dius uses Hamlet’s friends to try to get out of Hamlet what is upsetting him. Hamlet uses Horatio to get information and to run errands. [Nice point of comparison] They also both dislike each other Cla[u]dius dislikes Hamlet because he thinks that Hamlet is a spoiled rotten brat, being that he is the king’s only son. Hamlet dislikes Cla[u]dius because of him killing his father and his marriage to his mother.

     Shakespeare also characterizes Hamlet by using their differences. One of the differences is their ethics. Cla[u]dius is for Cla[u]dius and no one else. He has feelings for no one but himself. [Doesn't he have feelings for Gertrude?] Hamlet cares about other’s feelings[,] and he is for the people. [Evidence?] Cla[u]dius is evil[,] and Hamlet is good. Cladius is evil because he is trying to deceive everyone, and because he killed the king. Hamlet is good because he tries to protect and help people (especially Ophelia).

     In the two explained foils[,] Shakespeare describes Hamlet’s personality. Through Claudius and Laertes’ personality, one finds more out about Hamlet. One finds that Hamlet’s personality is very complex. He is a very caring, smart and brave person. This is the reason that Shakespeare used Laertes and Cladius to describe Hamlet.
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