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Free Hamlet Essays: The Foils

Foils of Hamlet

Hamlet is a play about a young man who is seeking revenge for his father’s death. In the process of doing so, different things happen and it becomes more and more of a complex plot. Throughout the play, we are introduced to many different foils. One of which is Laertes. Shakespeare chooses to portray Hamlet and Laertes differently although they are both so similar.

Hamlet and Laertes are all in basically the same position. Both of their fathers have been killed and they are both looking to avenge those fathers’ deaths. However, we see when we are reading that some characters are set up so that they gain more sympathy and such than others from the reader. For example, Shakespeare makes Laertes look like a “bad guy” because he wants to kill Hamlet but in essence, Hamlet is doing the same exact thing to Claudius. It is as if Shakespeare is saying that it is okay for Hamlet to kill but it isn’t ok for Laertes to feel the need for revenge.

Hamlet begins a soliloquy with the line, “How all occasions do inform against me and spur my dull revenge!” (Act IV, sc. IV, li. 32-33) It is like Shakespeare is trying to make it look like it is such a shame the Hamlet’s plans aren’t working out so well and that he isn’t as stable as he wants to be. It is almost like Shakespeare wants to reader to take pity on Hamlet who is not such a genuine person. He has killed Polonius and some say he has killed Ophelia. Should people really pity him because his plans to kill his uncle aren’t falling correctly into place? Shakespeare is almost trying to get the reader to do so.

On the other hand, there is Laertes who is Hamlet’s position. His father was killed, actually by Hamlet, and he is out to avenge that death. He is furious and passionate about it just like Hamlet is but it almost seems that when one is reading the play, they should think of Laertes as a “bad guy” and as the antagonist. Laertes says “It warms the very sickness in my heart that I shall live and tell him to his teeth, “thus did’st thou.” (Act. IV sc.VII. li. 55-57) He is basically saying that he would make him so happy to kill Hamlet and to show his what he really did.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essays: Claudius – Guilty or Innocent?

Claudius: Guilty or Innocent?

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a play that tells of a young man, Hamlet, who wanted revenge for the death of his father. After speaking with his father’s spirit, Hamlet was led to believe that the person who murdered his father was his uncle, Claudius. Claudius kills his brother mainly because of jealousy, the crown, the queen and a hatred of his brother. Therefore Claudius is guilty of the murder of his brother.

Claudius killed his brothe mainly because,he was jealous that his brother had it made. He had his kingdom, a beautiful queen(Queen Gertrude),and his son(Prince Hamlet) which would’ve taken over the kingdom when he died except Claudius, his own brother, killed him. We can see proof of Claudius’s jealousy when Claudius hands Cornelius and Voltemand a piece of paper. In addition, Claudius says, “Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death the memory be green, and that it us befitted to bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom to be contracted in one brow of woe, yet so far hath discretion fought with nature that we with remembrance of ourselves(pg.21).” Right there he’s saying that his brother’s death in memory be green, meaning maybe the green-eyed monster of jealousy. He couldn’t stand to see his brother happy so he decided to kill him.

Claudius feels guilty about killing his brother. We can see Claudius;s remorse when he is talking to God and gives his monologue about his his murder. Therefore, Claudius says, “My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent(pg.165).” This quote proves that Claudius realizes that he made a mistake and he also realizes that he cannot put everything behind him as mich as he wants to. Everything reminds him about his brother, the kingdom, the queen and the crown.

Claudius is not better off now that he has killed King Hamlet. We can see proof of this when Claudius is giving his monologue. Claudius says, “Forgive me my foul murder? That cannot be, since I am still possessed of those effects for which I did the murder:My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen(pg.

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