Homework Help

What are your views of how Fortinbras revenged his fathers death, and was King Hamlet...

user profile pic

kriztall | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 5, 2009 at 1:33 AM via web

dislike 0 like

What are your views of how Fortinbras revenged his fathers death, and was King Hamlet the one who actually slayed Fortinbras' father?

i am doing a research paper on Hamlet and can not figure out Fortinbras. I know he has the same name as his father but what i get from the book is that Fortinbras is his nephew not his son. I am a little confused.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 5, 2009 at 3:19 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Fortinbras is the son of the king of Norway. His uncle took over the throne when his father died. It is the uncle to whom Claudius sends the note telling Fortinibras' uncle that his nephew ( the son of his slain brother) is threatening Denmark and needs to be stopped. According to Horatio, Fortinbras' father was killed by Hamlet's father. Horatio says:

"Our last King,

Whose image even but now appear'd to us,(95)

Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,

Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,

Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet—

For so this side of our known world esteem'd him—

Did slay this Fortinbras;"

Thus young Fortinbras, the son of the man Hamlet's father killed, is now seeking revenge and to reclaim the lands his father lost when he was killed by Hamlet's father. Fortinbras figures that Denmark is weak now that Claudius has come to the throne so now would be a good time to strike. Fortunately, young Hamlet and Claudius really do Fortinbras' work for him in the last scene,  Hamlet, Laertes, Claudius, and Gertrude are all killed. All Fortinbras has to do is come in and pick up the pieces. (I,i,94-100)

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes