Hamlet Laertes And Fortinbras

884 Words4 Pages
The complex character of Hamlet has been carefully sculpted by means of contrast from the very beginning of the play. This interesting means of character development exposes the similarities and differences between the minor characters Fortinbras, and Laertes, and that of the protagonist, Hamlet. These overlaps are shown through complimentary mental traits, the drive to achieve common goals, distinctions of morality and the tendency of characters to act on first intentions. It is through the comparison of these elements and character traits in the minor characters contrasted to those of Hamlet that Shakespeare highlights the tragic flaw in his persona. From the very first act in the play, the character of Hamlet is contrasted directly to Fortinbras of Norway. King Claudius imposes this contrast by describing Hamlet as “sweet and commendable” in Act I scene II. However, in Act I scene I, Fortinbras is described by Claudius as "...young Fortinbras, Of unimproved mettle, hot and full...” This is an immediate contrast of character that appears quite early in the play. It is made evident to the audience that Hamlet and Fortinbras have strikingly different personalities, Hamlet being thoughtful and reflective, and Fortinbras being hot headed and short tempered. It is through comparisons such as these that Hamlet’s character is unveiled gradually throughout the rest of the work. Fortinbras of Norway and Hamlet also seek to achieve a common goal, they both pursue vengeance for their fathers. Although they go about this in different ways, and achieve different results, it provides common ground for the audience to judge them upon. Fortinbras makes his pursuit of vengeance apparent when his plans are revealed to the audience in Act I scene I"...recover...by strong hand, and terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands, So by his father lost". It is

More about Hamlet Laertes And Fortinbras

Open Document