Laertes and Fortinbras as Foils for Hamlet Hamlet, the major character in the Shakespeare play of the same name, was faced with a decision upon learning that Claudius murdered his father. The message that Tolstoy wants to deliver seems to be clear. Rather, the dramatic tensions that exist between the two constructs that have marked every epoch of human history affect and inform one another. His father Polonius, whose death is caused accidently by Hamlet, is a counselor to King Claudius and his sister Ophelia is courted by Prince Hamlet. All Rights Reserved. Mary and Nicholas get married and their union brings peace of various kinds—economic and domestic—to both of their families. Hamlet is spending time merely contemplating revenge, while Fortinbras is leading an army in an attempt to reclaim the land that is his. LAERTES I know him well: he is the brooch indeed And gem of all the nation. LAERTES Upon my life, Lamond. Claudius sees that Laertes is a "man of action" and chooses to take advantage of his anger and direct it towards Hamlet. However, the tensions among the three become very strained during the action of the play. He ropes an angry Laertes into yet another plan to do away with the prince. Claudius arranges a fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes, the son of Polonius, recently killed accidentally by Hamlet and he and Laertes plot to murder Hamlet in the match by poisoning the tip of Laertes’ sword. Ophelia: Larded with ‘sweet flower; Which bewept to the grave did go With true-love showers. Claudius is ultimately too crafty for his own good. Analysis: To be, or not to be... (3.1), Soliloquy Analysis: Tis now the very witching time of night... (3.2), Soliloquy Analysis: Now might I do it pat... (3.3), Soliloquy Analysis: How all occasions do inform against me... (4.4), The Baker's Daughter: Ophelia's Nursery Rhymes, In Secret Conference: The Meeting Between Claudius and Laertes, The Death of Polonius and its Impact on Hamlet's Character, An Excuse for Doing Nothing: Hamlet's Delay, Defending Claudius - The Charges Against the King, Shakespeare's Fools: The Grave-Diggers in, Hamlet's Humor: The Wit of Shakespeare's Prince of Denmark, Hamlet's Melancholy: The Transformation of the Prince. Not only does Claudius want to avoid hurting his wife, Gertrude, but he's afraid of the reaction of the common people, who adore Hamlet (lines 11-26, Folger e… Log In To Your GradeSaver Account. only �lm�؋� mortality and the brevity and fragility of human life, though, that Andrew could learn this lesson and prepare himself to apply it. Hamlet’s father has died, murdered by the hand of his own brother, and Hamlet has been discarded as heir. Fortinbras, Laertes and Claudius are all faced with crises similar to situations that Hamlet faces, and yet the reaction of each man in their personal situation varies from Hamlet’s own methods of dealing with the same issues. (208 lines) Laertes is the son of Polonius and the brother of Ophelia. After Ophelia has gone, Claudius agonizes over her madness and over the stir created by the return of an angry Laertes. KING CLAUDIUS He made confession of you, And gave you such a masterly report For art and exercise in your defence And for your rapier most especially, He wants to get revenge for his father's death He wants to take over the throne He wants to stop Ophelia from marrying Hamlet LAERTES A Norman was't? Hamlet also indirectly caused Ophelia's insanity, However, there is no play where these foils are more obvious than in the famed Hamlet. Ophelia: Well, God ‘ild you! King Claudius is a fictional character and the primary antagonist of William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet.He is the brother to King Hamlet, second husband to Gertrude and uncle and later stepfather to Prince Hamlet.He obtained the throne of Denmark by murdering his brother with poison and then marrying the late king's widow. At the end of his fight with Laertes, Laertes tells Hamlet that Claudius had set up the duel so that the young prince would be murdered. It is not until after the war between the Russians and Napoleon’s forces has ended that families and relationships finally begin to stabilize and assume a semblance of functionality and normalcy, much like society itself. It is implied that Ophelia dies by suicide. The final foil is the one that is the most painful to Hamlet. Claudius speaks of his plot to kill Hamlet and Laertes agrees to take part. In the final scene, he kills Hamlet with a poisoned sword to avenge the deaths of his father and sister, for which he blamed Hamlet. Social peace, Tolstoy says through his characters and their conditions at the novel’s conclusion, is a precondition for domestic stability. While … In times of war, even those places and people who seem the safest are unlikely to be free of divisive conflict. War and peace, Tolstoy argues through the circumstances that afflict and liberate his characters, are not as different as they might appear with just a superficial glance. The death of Hamlet’s father has brought him back from university, only to find that his mother has married his father’s brother, Claudius. If, of the two conspirators, Claudius is the master villain, Laertes by his own suggestion of the use of poison, proves himself no mean adept in the ways of infamy. Hamlet's Antic Disposition: Is Hamlet's Madness Real? Claudius has the idea of a swordfight, using a sharp sword, rather than a blunt one, which he presents to Laertes: “you may choose / a sword unbated, and in a pass of practice / requite him for your father” (IV.vii.138-140). War and Peace. Even Hamlet himself realizes how closely aligned his situation is with Laertes and he knows that in the future they will be compared to one another, although Laertes will be found to be greater for his courage in action. Contrasting Characterization: "He, being remiss, most generous and free from all contriving, will not pursue the foils; so that with ease...you may choose a sword unbated" (IV, vii, 133-137) Claudius and Laertes himself are physically responsible for Laertes’s death, because they are the reason that the poisoned sword exists in the first place. Laertes leaves, refusing to cry; Claudius fears that he will have to start all over again with calming him. However, as Claudius revels in his immorality and ability to achieve his goals no matter what the cost, Hamlet is plagued by the choices that he must make. The people of Elsinore look to him as a leader, threatening Claudius’s leadership. While nearly every character is a foil to Hamlet in some way, three men stand out amongst the crowd. They say the owl was a baker’s daughter. Similarly, Fortinbras is the prince of Norway, Hamlet’s father has murdered his father, and his uncle has unjustly stolen the throne from him. Claudius is only too eager to arrange the duel. Laertes is a character in Hamlet who is portrayed as another impulsive young man. The most obvious insistence upon revenge in the play is that of Hamlet himself who seeks to right the wrong of the murder of his father by Claudius. Answered by Aslan on 6/28/2020 5:45 PM Laertes wants to return to France and wants Claudius's blessing. After finding out about his father's death at the hand of Hamlet, Laertes is talking to Claudius, who wants to get rid of Hamlet. Ophelia (/ ə ˈ f iː l i ə /) is a character in William Shakespeare's drama Hamlet.She is a young noblewoman of Denmark, the daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes and potential wife of Prince Hamlet, who, due to Hamlet's actions, ends up in a state of madness that ultimately leads to her drowning Thematic Contrast in War and Peace by Tolstoy, The Purpose of a Poetry Anthology, An Analysis by Example, Character and Divine Influence in The Iliad and The Aeneid : The Role of the Gods and Goddesses and the Direction of Fate, The Quest for Identity in American Poetry, Analysis of Poems by Emily Bishop : “One Art" and “A Miracle for Breakfast", Tolkien’s “On Fairy Stories" and the Success of The Silmarillion, Portnoy’s Broader Complaint: The Inescapability of Being Jewish. Seneca's Tragedies and the Elizabethan Drama. Email. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'articlemyriad_com-box-4','ezslot_4',261,'0','0']));Another foil that influences Hamlet’s decisions is Laertes. Laertes and Hamlet have been friends since childhood and as the play opens they are in their twenties. Claudius: How do you, pretty lady? ‘Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane. Laertes reveals Claudius’ plan and Hamlet then kills his uncle, Claudius. The chaos, uncertainty, and scope of violence that characterize periods of war spill over into every other aspect of society, including the domestic sphere, creating instability for everyone, irrespective of whether this fact is acknowledged. Pierre and Natasha enter into a phase of domestic bliss and mutual appreciation. © 2020 Article Myriad. To be absolutely certain of success, Claudius plans to have a poisoned drink nearby as well. Laertes and Fortinbras as Foils for Shakespeare's Hamlet 1639 Words | 7 Pages. …death) and that her brother Laertes seeks to avenge Polonius’s murder. Even though he hurts Hamlet with the poisoned sword, and Hamlet too hurts him after the swords get exchanged, Laertes confesses his part in Claudius’ plan. Claudius gets a letter from Hamlet announcing the prince’s return. Laertes / leɪˈɜːrtiːz / is a character in William Shakespeare 's play Hamlet. Fortinbras, Laertes and Claudius are all faced with crises similar to situations that Hamlet faces, and yet the reaction of each man in their personal situation varies from Hamlet’s own methods of dealing with the same issues. The play's action is resolved as Claudius and Laertes make peace. Why does Laertes return to Denmark? Claudius has just talked Laertes out of wanting to wreak revenge on him by explaining that he, not Laertes' father Polonius, was Hamlet's intended victim. Laertes agrees to kill Hamlet with a poisoned rapier in a fencing match. Laertes’s sword will be dipped in poison and Claudius will have on hand a cup of poisoned wine to offer Hamlet. In Act V, scene ii, rather than allowing Laertes only two methods of killing Hamlet, the sharpened sword and the poison on the blade, Claudius insists on a third, the poisoned goblet. What is learned about Scrooge as a boy during the visit from the Ghost of … George Gibian. Laertes and Claudius both die at Hamlet's hand, but the killings are no mistake. Hamlet’s thirst for revenge is total and he stabs Claudius and forces him to drink poison. In Act IV, scene v, Claudius decided that the way to appease Laertes was by appearing frank and honest. Within this framework lies much to compare and contrast. The suspense builds as Claudius clarifies Laertes's goal. Gertrude comes in with the news that Ophelia has drowned. Fortinbras’ desire for action with which to avenge his father is the catalyst that Hamlet needs to catapult himself out of inaction, as he says, “Rightly to be great is not to stir without great argument, but greatly to find quarrel in a straw when honour’s at the stake" (IV.iv.56-68). (2.2), Soliloquy KING CLAUDIUS A Norman. Every one of the three eldest sons had one thing in common: they all wanted revenge for a slaughtered father. He then explains at great length to Laertes why he hasn't punished Hamlet for attempted assassination. In conclusion, while Laertes, Claudius and Fortinbras all have something in common with Hamlet, the way in which they react to the common element sets them apart. If he fails, Claudius will give Hamlet a poisoned cup of wine. Who is Laertes? Laertes takes up the plot, explaining that he will poison the blade. KING CLAUDIUS The very same. Asked by Thomas M #936247 on 6/28/2020 4:37 PM Last updated by Aslan on 6/28/2020 5:45 PM Answers 1 Add Yours. Hamlet’s and Laertes’s accusations. The duel takes place in the final scene of the play. Shakespeare's Hamlet Act 4 Scene 7 - Claudius and Laertes plot to kill Hamlet Gertrude reports the drowning of Ophelia, with explanatory notes, from your trusted Shakespeare source. It seems significant that the lesson is so powerful that Andrew does not even notice when the infamous Napoleon walks past him as he lies on the ground trying to grasp the fullness of his new awareness. In William Shakespeare’s works, there are often many instances of the protagonist’s key traits being highlighted in the behavior of another character. Claudius finds out from one of Horatio’s letters that Hamlet is back in Denmark. Drink off this potion’ (Hamlet, 5.2) When Laertes asked furiously where his father was, Claudius replied, “Dead” (IV.v.123). What does Laertes ask of Claudius? 5. Shakespeare opens Act 4, Scene 7 of Hamletwith Claudius and Laertes in mid-conversation. The character of Fortinbras is the foil that is most similar to Hamlet in regards to circumstance. Both Laertes and Fortinbras are also out to seek revenge. It is no coincidence that in the final scene of the play, Hamlet says to him, “I’ll be your foil, Laertes: in mine ignorance your skill shall, like a star i’ the darkest night, Stick fiery off indeed” (V.ii.5-7). Hamlet seeks revenge on Claudius for the death of his father while Laertes seeks revenge on Hamlet for death of his father Polonius. Password. Add your answer and earn points. Trans. His uncle, Claudius, has murdered his father and taken his position as rightful heir, and yet, Hamlet finds himself in a simliar situation with the accidental murder of Polonius. However, while Hamlet is full of self-doubt and conflicting emotions, Laertes is quick to attempt to revenge his father. Shakespeare shows Claudius’s mind working overtime to derail Laertes’ anger, which is thus far the greatest challenge his kingship has faced. Laertes and Hamlet will have a not-so-friendly duel, but Laertes will be fighting with a sharpened, poisoned blade, rather than a blunted one. But Claudius manages to harness Laertes to his own political cause by telling him that Hamlet is the guilty one and persuading him to kill the prince, promising to conceal Laertes’ crime. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'articlemyriad_com-banner-1','ezslot_5',361,'0','0'])); In Tolstoy’s War and Peace, conflict and stability do not complement each other so much as they do reflect one another. The addition of these characters makes it easy for the readers to see the areas in which Hamlet is succeeding, and subsequently, failing, on his journey to avenge his father’s death. In contrast to Hamlet, Laertes, upon hearing about his father’s death assumes the slayer is Claudius.Without thought, Laertes moves to avenge his father’s death (Act 4, Scene 5, lines 128-134); this shows Laertes’ desire to seek revenge at any cost. Claudius and Laertes’s discussions about revenge. New York: W.W. Norton, 1996. Claudius and Laertes plan to kill Hamlet in a fencing duel between Hamlet and Laertes. saramariec0355 is waiting for your help. These lines show that Hamlet has decided that strong action is better than rational debate, and his foil provides him with the ambition to move ahead with his plans. Ophelia enters singing about death and betrayal. This is the only case in which someone acts as a true foil to Hamlet, with Claudius’ negative characteristics highlighting Hamlet’s rationale and regret. The character of Fortinbras is the foil that is most similar to Hamlet in regards to circumstance. New questions in English. Laertes Character Illustration At least two questions raised by your character's words and/or behavior in this Act -Will Laertes listen to Claudius and wait for their planned opportunity to kill Hamlet, or will his grief over Ophelia's death lead him to a rash decision of killing Claudius enlists Laertes’s willing help in devising another plot against Hamlet’s life. Laertes returns to Elsinore to avenge his father Polonius’s death. In contrast to Hamlet, Laertes… Act 1. Tolstoy, Leo. Hamlet has mistakenly killed Polonius, Laertes’ father, while mistaking him for someone else, and this turn of events places Hamlet in the same role as Claudius. While Hamlet is indeed guilty of stabbing Polonius and hiding the body, it was Claudius' scheming that put Polonius behind the arras. Hamlet and Laertes’ reactions are prompted by frustration and anger. He forgives Hamlet and dies honourably, setting the only solace in the tragic climax of the play. 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