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Examine Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras – their parallel situations in this play and...

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chasya | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted June 1, 2010 at 5:05 AM via web

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Examine Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras – their parallel situations in this play and how each seeks restitution for the death of a father.

I'm trying to get ideas and opinions from others so that I can write a very good essay on Honour and how that applies to the story Hamlet... so your ideas and opinions will be of much help! Thanks!

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted June 1, 2010 at 5:37 AM (Answer #1)

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In Shakespeare's Hamlet, of the three characters who have fathers' deaths to revenge, Laertes is certainly the least honorable. 

Laertes is brash and rash and unthinking as he sets out to get revenge.  He loudly forces his way into Elsinore, apparently, without even knowing exactly what happened to his father.  He goes after King Claudius, who actually is innocent of Polonius' death.  Then he allows himself to be manipulated by Claudius into performing deceitful and treacherous acts toward Hamlet.  Laertes apparently agrees with Claudius that revenge should have no bounds, or limits. 

Laertes, again, is the least honorable of the revengers in Shakespeare's revenge tragedy. 

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