Character Analysis: Laertes

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Character: Laertes In Hamlet, Act IV, scene v, Laertes comes back from France. Furious to learn that his father is dead, Laertes wants to avenge his death. Claudius tries to clam him down with no prevail. Gertrude also tries to pacify Laertes, but the matter only becomes worse asOphelia reenters, insane. This ignites Laertes even more to find out who is responsible for Polonius’ death. Thus, Claudius convinces him to hear his “version” of what happened, and Laertes agrees. Laertes only appears in scene v and vii in Act IV; in scene v, Laertes comes back in a fluster, wanting to avenge his father’s death. Claudius uses this opportunity to tell Laertes that Hamlet did it, so Hamlet can die as Claudius hopes. In scene vii, Claudius tells Laertes that Hamlet is responsible for Polonius’ death and they advise a plan to kill him without the suspicions of foul play. Laertes also plans to use a sharpened sword instead of a dull fencing blade. Laertes is known for his expertise with a sword. Then tragic hits again as Gertrude comes in with news of Ophelia’s death. Ophelia drowned in the river, which causes Laertes to flee the room, overcome with grief. With the deaths of his only beloved family members, Laertes is in a rage and is overcome with grief and tragedy. Now that he knows Hamlet killed his father, he also blames Hamlet for driving Ophelia insane, which leads her to her death. So, he is probably on a bloody rampage, wanting to kill Hamlet in an instant. Everyone pities Laertes as his father and sister die; however Claudius uses this as an advantage to have Laertes kill Hamlet. Hamlet comes back to Denmark, much to Laertes’ advantage, with no knowledge of his upcoming demise. Gertrude feels sorry for Laertes and comes back with Ophelia’s death in scene vii. Laertes is mad at Hamlet and wants to kill him. Laertes is a foil of

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