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Laertes is a Foil Character of Hamlet

Laertes is a foil character of Hamlet

I have some ideas on this one: Hamlet and Laertes are obviously foils to each other; A foil is a character who contrasts strongly with another

Laertes, like Hamlet, has a father murdered, and feels duty bound to avenge his death. Very unlike Hamlet, however, he is ablaze with motivation and action, and says (in A4,S5, V 129ff) that he will throw "conscience and grace to the profoundest pit", And is ready without hesitation to take revenge. But his character is so woefully shallow to Hamlet-- Hamlet is a genius compared to him-- So why can't Hamlet do what Laertes does?

I think sometimes that life is like a chess game--some people, with little minds, just play along, and will win-- but there are others, with great minds, who are so enraptured by the wonderful oriential chess pieces, that they dont pay attention to the game-- and though their virtues be as "pure as grace", as Hamlet says, they have that one "stamp of defect" that is their downfall.

Comparing Laertes and Hamlet Laertes and Hamlet both display impulsive reactions when angered. Once Laertes discovers his father has been murdered, he immediately assumes the slayer is Claudius. As a result of Laertes' speculation, he instinctively moves to avenge Polonius' death. "To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation: to this point I stand, that both worlds I give to negligence, let come what comes; only I'll be revenged most thoroughly for my father." Act 4 Scene 5 lines 128-134 provide insight into Laertes' mind, displaying his desire for revenge at any cost. In contrast to Laertes’ speculation of his father's killer, Hamlet presumes the individual spying on his conversation with Gertrude is Claudius("Nay, I know not: is it the King?" Act 3, Scene 4 line 28). Consequently, Hamlet, consumed with rage, automatically thrusts out attempting to kill Claudius, but instead strikes Polonius. Hamlet's and Laertes' imprudent actions are incited by fury and frustration. Sudden anger prompts both Hamlet and Laer...

A character in a play who sets off the main character or other characters by comparison. In Shakespeare's "Hamlet" Hamlet and Laertes are young men who behave very differently. While Hamlet delays in carrying out his mission to avenge the death of his father, Laertes is quick and bold in his challenge of the king over the...

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Category:   Hamlet

Length:   2 pages (419 words)

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