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.
Free Hamlet Essays: Comparing Laertes and Hamlet comparison compare contrast essays
Comparing Laertes and Hamlet Laertes and Hamlet both display impulsive reactions when angered. Once Laertes discovers his father has been murdered Laertes immediately assumes the slayer is Claudius. As a result of Laertes’s speculation he instinctively moves to avenge Polonius’s 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’s 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’s imprudent actions are incited by fury and frustration. Sudden anger prompts both Hamlet and Laertes to act spontaneously, giving little thought to the consequences of their actions. Hamlet and Laertes share a different but deep love and concern for Ophelia. Before his departure for France Laertes provides lengthy advice to Ophelia pertaining to her relationship with Hamlet. Laertes voices his concern of Hamlet’s true intentions towards Ophelia and advices her to be wary of Hamlet’s love. Laertes impresses upon Ophelia, Hamlet is a prince who most likely will have an arranged marriage. Hamlet’s strong love for Ophelia withers after she rejects his affinity. Hamlet’s extensive love for Ophelia resulted in grave suffering for Hamlet once his affection was rejected. Hamlet’s appearance decays due to the rejection of his love for Ophelia(“Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other” Act 2, Scene 1, line 82). The loss of Ophelia’s love for Hamlet instigates Polonius into believing it has caused Hamlet to revert to antic disposition. Once Laertes learns of the death of his sister he is afflicted with sadness. In the same way, Hamlet is shocked and enraged over Ophelia’s demise. Both Hamlet and Laertes are so profoundly distressed at the death of Ophelia they jump into her grave and fight each other. Although Hamlet and Laertes despised one another, they both loved Ophelia. Hamlet was infatuated with Ophelia which was obvious during his constant anguish over her(in her rejection of Hamlet, and in her death Hamlet suffered greatly). Laertes shared a strong brotherly love for Ophelia which was evident in his advice to her. Laertes further displayed his love for Ophelia during her funeral were he fought with Hamlet. Hamlet and Laertes are similar in the way they associate with their families. Laertes highly respects and loves his father Polonius. Similarly, Hamlet holds a great respect for his dead father(Hamlet compares his father to a sun god “Hyperion”). After the death of their fathers, Hamlet and Laertes strive to seek revenge on the assassins. Hamlet and Laertes exhibit domineering attitudes towards females. Laertes gives his sister Ophelia guidance on her relationship with Hamlet. In the same way, Hamlet is able to persuade Gertrude he is not mad and manipulate her to follow his instructions. Hamlet directs his mother to convince Claudius of Hamlet’s madness. Hamlet is able to make his mother reflect upon her part in the death of his father and feel guilt(“Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul, and there I see such black and grained spots as will not leave their tinct.” Act 3, Scene 4 lines 90-93). Furthermore, Hamlet instructs his mother not to sleep with Claudius. The fathers of Laertes and Hamlet both attempted to use spies to gain information on their sons(although not his real father Claudius was his uncle as well as step-father). Claudius employed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to gather information on Hamlet. In comparison, Polonius dispatches Reynaldo to check up on Laertes. Hamlet and Laertes share similar aspects within their families.