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Hamlet Case Study

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In the story Hamlet, he is a young man who is struggling with immense guilt regarding his fathers, the King's death. He encounters his father as a ghost, and speaks with him, where he finds out that his father's brother, who has taken over the throne, actually poisoned him. His father wants him to seek out revenge, and kill his brother Claudius. Hamlet agrees because of his grief towards the murder, but also because of his mother's marriage to Claudius just two months after his father's death. Just when it seems as though Hamlet is going to take action, he seems to become almost lazy, and disinterested in life in general so he fails. He first decides he needs proof, by having a play performed that is based on the facts of his father's death. When King Claudius leaves during the play, he is convinced of his guilt. He then, finds opportunities that he backs out of for different reasons such as; when he draws his sword in the garden, he stops because if he kills him while he is praying. Claudius would then be allowed to go to heaven. His madness has his thoughts distorted, and his views on death. Right up to the end, Hamlet spends his days in a madman state, and plots, but shows no action. In the final scene when he is again plotting the revenge, Claudius does die, however not because of Hamlets plot against him, he is stabbed by the sword dipped it poison that was meant for Hamlet.

Laertes has lost his father as well to murder. It is different in the sense that Laertes immediately reacts to his fathers murder. He comes home immediately, gathers followers and invades the palace. He begins to ask questions, and King Claudius tells him it was Hamlet. Laertes seeks out for revenge on Hamlet. This allows Claudius the opportunity to use someone else for his own gain, knowing Laertes will kill Hamlet. He arranges a dool, and poisons the sword. Between the poision on the sword and in the cup, he has killed everyone including himself. Laertes was a person who immediately reacted to his fathers murder, without thought or planning. He was irrational, and motivated by his anger. Laertes is definitely a character foil to Hamlet in the sense that they both had murdered fathers that they were seeking revenge for, as well as their rightful place in Royalty. Laertes in the Royal Counsel, and Hamlet as King.

Fortinbras and Hamlet are character foils, due to how similar their stories are. Fortinbras father was killed by King Hamlet during war. He was killed in battle; however Fortinbras still wanted to seek revenge. Fortinbras was also not made King, and he too had an Uncle who took the Throne. Fortinbras father was killed in a way that is public knowledge, whereas Hamlet is keeping a secret on how his father died. Unlike Hamlet, Fortinbras is seeking vengeance on a country, and actively making a plan for attack. Fortinbras does back down when he is told



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