Laertes (Hamlet) - Wikipedia
Laertes is a minor character who plays a major role in William Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet.' He's a young man who feels responsible for. A foil is a character who sets off another person by being a contrast to that person . For a character to be a foil to Hamlet, he or she must have. About thirty years old at the start of the play, Hamlet is the son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet, and the nephew of the present king, Claudius.
Hamlet is in emotional turmoil. While he is in distress, he encounters a ghost demanding revenge. Hamlet's emotional turmoil is almost too much for him to bear.
He wants to avenge his father.
He wants to obey the royal ghost, but he is not as active and incisive as either Fortinbras or Laertes. He does not lead an army or even a mob. He is careful not to act rashly. He does not pass on the ghost's accusations to the sentinels. Throughout the play he is deliberating, pondering and worrying. His soliloquies confirm his confusion and concern.
Hamlet and His Foils: Fortinbras and Laertes | Owlcation
Is Claudius genuinely guilty, or is the ghost really a devil, giving misleading information? What if he does kill Claudius, won't that secure a place for himself in Purgatory?
How can he kill the king, when he is always surrounded by guards, yet if he kills him when he is alone at prayer, won't that send him directly to the pleasures of Heaven? Unlike Fortinbras, he is not a natural soldier.
Hamlet Character Relationships
Hamlet is a scholar; a philosopher. He is trained to think things through, intelligently, considering all options, before making decisions. It is not that he considers revenge wrong, or that he is happy about Claudius's behaviour.
He knows that Claudius is a criminal and that he deserves death, but Hamlet is not a natural killer. Fortinbras is a soldier and Laertes is hot-headed, so killing someone who deserved it would cause them no problems, but Hamlet is a decent man, who has been disgusted by all the wrongs that he has seen about him.
He is not a criminal; he could not deliberately kill in cold blood. That is what Claudius did. He is not Claudius.
Furthermore, being a thinker, he worries about right and wrong and their long-term effects. 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.
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. Hamlet and Laertes demonstrate rash behaviour when infuriated. Hamlet becomes outraged at the notion of Claudius spying on him which results in Hamlet mistakenly killing Polonius.
Laertes becomes drastically angered at the death of his father and boldly seeks vengeance against Claudius. Momentary rage overcomes Laertes and Hamlet which prompts them to act spontaneously.
Hamlet and Laertes both have a strong love for Ophelia. Hamlet's deep love for Ophelia is evident in his reaction to her rejection of him. In the same way, Laertes care and affection are revealed by his advice to his sister. Laertes uses his sharp, poisoned sword instead of a bated dull sword.
The King provides a poisoned drink as a backup measure. Before the match begins, Hamlet apologises publicly to Laertes for the wrongs he has dealt him.
Laertes accepts the apology, so he says, but he proceeds with the scheme to kill Hamlet though after Gertrude drinks the poisoned drink he expresses having an attack of conscience. Hamlet is eventually wounded with the poisoned sword. Then, in a scuffle, the swords are switched. Hamlet wounds Laertes with his own poisoned blade, and Laertes then falls as well. Only then does he truly seem to feel guilty, for he tells Osric he has been "justly killed" with his own treachery.
As he lies dying, Laertes confesses the truth and reveals that it was Claudius's plot, resulting in the death of Claudius by Hamlet's hands. Laertes asks Hamlet for forgiveness, absolving him of his and his father's deaths if Hamlet absolves him of his own.