Fortinbras versus Hamlet

492 Words2 Pages
Shakespeare’s focus of Fortinbras’ in Hamlet is as a foil to Hamlet. From the beginning of the play, Fortinbras and Hamlet are connected through their fathers. Both fathers were murdered and both sons had planned to avenge their deaths. Fortinbras’ reaction to the death of his father was the complete opposite to Hamlet’s reaction. Fortinbras acts before he thinks while Hamlet cannot help but over analyze the situation. Fortinbras had the mindset of pure revenge and was willing to risk all, which was displayed in his attack against Poland. Hamlet will not take revenge until he is certain about what the ghost of his father is telling him is true, even though Hamlet had the suspicion against Claudius from the start. Fortinbras proceeded to take action before thinking about the consequences, which could arise. As he was planning his invasion of Denmark, he did not factor in what could happen if his uncle found out. Claudius, realizing the flaw in Fortinbras’ attack, uses his authority as king to notify his uncle of his nephew’s agenda. Later in the play when Hamlet inquires about Fortinbras’ invasion of Poland, he states, “The imminent death of twenty thousand men, that for a fantasy and trick of fame.” With this line, Hamlet set out to portray to the audience a man who merely thinks about his well being and satisfaction instead of the consequences brought upon everyone else who is involved. Shakespeare repeatedly shows how rash Fortinbras is and thus foreshadows what he will do later on in the play. In the play, Hamlet is conquered by his thought. Hamlet could have easily killed Claudius during the confession but over thinks the situation and decides to wait until he can catch Claudius in a sinful act. Although, Hamlet’s thoughts have infringed on his ability to take revenge when he does act purely on revenge it ends in ruins. In the case of the
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