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Hamlet And Fortinbras Essay Research Paper

Hamlet And Fortinbras Essay, Research Paper Oftentimes, the minor characters in a play can be vital and, among other things, function to further the action of the play or to reveal and illuminate the

Hamlet And Fortinbras Essay, Research Paper

Oftentimes, the minor characters in a play can be vital and, among other things,

function to further the action of the play or to reveal and illuminate the

personalities of other characters. In Hamlet, Fortinbras, the Norwegian Prince,

serves as the most important foil of Hamlet and provides us with the actions and

emotions in which we can compare to those of Hamlet and better reveal Hamlet?s

own character. Because Hamlet and Fortinbras both lost their fathers and have

sworn to avenge their deaths, Fortinbras is a perfect parallel of Hamlet. He was

also very crucial to the play?s ending and to bring a remedy to the corruption

that has plagued Denmark. Fortinbras father, King of Norway, was killed during

battle for control of ?a little patch of ground?(4.4, 19). Fortinbras?

uncle claims the throne of Norway just as Hamlet?s uncle takes the throne at

Denmark. The deaths of Hamlet Sr. and Fortinbras Sr. directly link the common

destiny of Fortinbras to that of Hamlet, to avenge the death of his father. It

is because of this that the two young soldiers can be compared to each other.

Fortinbras? taking action after his reasoning is contrasting to Hamlet?s

continual lackadaisical steps towards revenge. Hamlet realizes this and

comtrasts himself to Fortinbras in his ?How stand I then?(4.4, 59) speech

and labels Fortinbras as a man of action and labels himself as a procrastinator

whose words lead to no action. Hamlet calls him ?a tender prince?(4.4, 51)

after speaking with a captain in his army and hearing of Fortinbras? progress.

It is inspiring to Hamlet and it pushes him forward in carrying out his plan to

kill Claudius. Hamlet?s last lines, ?How all occasions?my thoughts be

bloody or be nothing worth!?(4.5, 34-69) say that Fortinbras has won him over

from any further doubts and Hamlet, too, wishes to become a man of action who is

ready to take his revenge at any cost. It can be said that Fortinbras is an

energetic leader and soldier with clear intentions from the way he can quickly

assemble his men to attack Poland. Although Fortinbras says that Hamlet was a

soldier, too, ?and for his passage, the soldier?s music??(5.2, 444-445),

the reader sees Hamlet only as a scholar because he seems to only think things

out rather than take action. Though, Fortinbras? statement helps us understand

that Hamlet was once indeed a good soldier. Scene two of the last act of Hamlet

reveals the true character of Fortinbras. After arriving at Elsinore, he

immediately acts upon seeing the disturbing scene, much like he acts in battle,

?Let four captains bear Hamlet like a soldier??(5.2, 441-450). Fortinbras

is necessary to the storyline and he is important to the resolution of the

corruption in Elsinore Castle, ?Something rotten in Demark?(1.5, 100). He is

needed to correct the corruptness, as he is the only noble left to claim the

throne, the task he had ironically set out for, and because he desires to fight

for glory and to expand his empire, he is fitted by character to inherit the

Kingdom of Sr. Hamlet. This action completes the play and brings all loose ends

together.

Bibliography Mowat, Barbara A. Hamlet. Washington Square Press of Pocket Books.

New York, NY: 1992.

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