In Fortinbras, Laertes, And Horatio We See All That Hamlet Wishes To Be. Essay, Research Paper
The character of Hamlet is very prestigious, but he has many shortcomings. In many cases, he shows that he is all words and no action. He waits until the very last minute to take a course of action. Hamlet realizes this, and he wishes that he had the characteristics of Fortinbras, Laertes, and Horatio.
During the course of the play, Hamlet just talks and talks about what he plans on doing, but when an opportunity arrises to make good on his word, he backs down. for instance, when he finds Claudius praying, he could have easily killed him and been done with it. but instead, he makes up an excuse for himself, saying that it is dishonorable to kill someone in the church. Even Laertes agreed with Claudius when he said in Act IV, Scene 7 that “no place indeed should murder sanctuarize.” The only times that Hamlet takes action is when he has no choice. He takes action when he is sent to England. He only does anything, because if he doesn’t, he will be killed. The other time that he uses action instead of words is, of course, at the end. but by that time, it is already too late.
Laertes, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. He was all action and no talk. A very headstrong character, he was rash and let his emotions make his decisions for him. an example of this is when he finds out about his father’s death, he immediately assumes it was Claudius and enters the castle by force, fully intending on killing him. This is what Hamlet needs to be like, but only in moderation. Sometimes, when the time calls for it, you must act on instinct, without having to think it through for a couple of days. Hamlet didn’t want to be brash and end up getting killed like Laertes did, but then again, Laertes did avenge his father’s death a lot faster than Hamlet did. And in spite of all the thinking and planning, Hamlet still ended up the same way that Laertes did.
Fortinbras was a mix of the previous two. He carefully planned out his strategy, and then acted on it when they were finished. He showed that he was not too reckless by sending his captain ahead of him to announce that he was coming, so that the king might have repay him instead of fighting him and losing men. He also was not slow in acting; he didn’t make up excuses not to like Hamlet did. If Hamlet had not hesitated, things probably would have worked out for him, maybe even better than he expected, like they did for Fortinbras: he was named king with barely a fight. Hamlet needed to follow Fortinbras’ example and be more decisive, to get things done when they were needed, things won’t go as planned.
Horatio was very similar to Fortinbras. He didn’t make reckless decisions, and didn’t over commit himself to a course of action. For example, at the beginning of the play, when the guards had confronted the ghost Hamlet’s father, he was the one they turned to for help. When, he saw it, Horatio did not to talk to it, and he didn’t just rush out and attack, for that might have been dangerous. Only when the ghost started to disappear that he attacked it to try to stop it. Horatio also set a good example, but Hamlet still didn’t follow his lead. Hamlet made his decisions at the spur of the moment. When he was in his mother’s bedroom, and he killed Polonius behind the curtains without even checking who it was, that was not exactly a well though out plan.
All in all, Hamlet was simply a bad decision maker. He was indecisive, he didn’t think things all the way through, and he almost never followed through on his word. All around him, his peers had better problem solving techniques than him, and they completed what they were trying to do. Instead of making an elaborate plan to defeat his enemies, he should taken the opportunities to do the job when they presented themselves. This ironic, because that trait is what many villains are based upon today.