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Contrasting Views - Throughout the Shakespearian play, Hamlet, Laertes and Prince Hamlet are compared and contrasted through similar situations that show how Laertes is a foil to Hamlet because of there different personality traits. Discuss.

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Introduction

Hamlet Essay July 23, 2008 Contrasting Views Throughout the Shakespearian play, Hamlet, Laertes and Prince Hamlet are compared and contrasted through similar situations that show how Laertes is a foil to Hamlet because of there different personality traits. No two people are the same. In the play Hamlet, the most significant different between Laertes and Hamlet is there personality traits and how they act upon situations. Hamlet is a thinker and uses his intellect when it comes to situations such as the plan to seek revenge on Claudius. By thinking before he acts Hamlet causes a tragic error which leads to the death of many innocent people. By not killing Claudius when he had the chance too he caused the death of Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Laertes and himself. "And so 'a goes to heaven; And so am I reveng'd. That would be scann'd: A villain kills my father, and for that I, his sole son, do this same villain send To Heaven (Act 3, Scene 3: 74-78)." He could have killed Claudius but instead he over thought the situation and did not to kill him because Hamlet believed that he would not have suffered the way that his father did. ...read more.

Middle

His personality is dark because he is suffering through the pain of loosing his father and seeing his mother remarry his uncle within a short period of time. "O that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd. His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable. Seem to me all the uses of this world (Act 1, Scene 2: 129-134)." This quote was said by Hamlet through his first soliloquy of the play after he see's Gertrude and Claudius together in Court. He expresses the pain and sadness that he is going through after the death of his father and is referring to thoughts of suicide by saying he want to melt and become water. Laertes loses his father because Hamlet thought he was killing Claudius instead. One thing that they both want to achieve is revenge but when it comes to the way they achieve revenge they act very differently because of there distinctively diverse personality. "Haste me to know't, that I with wings as swift as meditation or the thoughts of love may sweep to my revenge (Act 1, Scene 5: 29-31)." ...read more.

Conclusion

Laertes father, Polonius has to do anything and everything to please the King which puts him below Hamlet in society. When Hamlet Senior was the King of Denmark things were stable but ever since the death of him things have gone downhill. Gertrude has married Claudius and has left Hamlet extremely depressed and saddened by the current status of events. Hamlet feels alone, isolated and separated from everyone because of the death of his father and the marriage of his uncle and mother. He tries to escape everything asking permission to return to his university studies but his mother and uncle insist he stay and in turn allow Laertes to return to France. "They cry, 'Choose we! Laertes shall be king.' Caps, hands, and tongues applaud it to the clouds, 'Laertes shall be King, Laertes king (Act 4, Scene 5: 105-107)." This quote was said by the messenger after the death of Laertes father, Polonius. They want Laertes to be King because he is one of the people and because Hamlet killed Polonius. Everyone thinks that Hamlet is not being fairly punished for the crime he committed and are supporting Laertes. Even though Laertes is below Hamlet in status he has the power of the people because he is popular and loyal to everyone. ...read more.

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