Hamlet's Endorsement of Young Fortinbras in Act VAt the end of Act V, does Hamlet endorse Young Fortinbras as the new king of Elsinore to prevent a power struggle and preserve civil harmony? Or do...

Hamlet's Endorsement of Young Fortinbras in Act V

At the end of Act V, does Hamlet endorse Young Fortinbras as the new king of Elsinore to prevent a power struggle and preserve civil harmony? Or do you think Hamlet might have other reasons? Regardless of Hamlet's reasons, do you think Young Fortinbras is the right man for the job?

Expert Answers
rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It seems likely that Hamlet had this in mind when he endorsed Fortinbras as the king of Denmark. Horatio even suggests that Fortinbras should be made king as soon as possible, to avoid further scheming. In addition, Fortinbras is a sort of parallel character to Hamlet throughout the play--he is, after all, initially out to avenge his father and his uncle has taken the throne of Norway. Additionally, Hamlet encounters his army on the way to Poland when he is returning from his supposed trip to England, and he expresses admiration for what Fortinbras has accomplished at so young an age. In fact, this is one factor that spurs him toward avenging his father's death.  So it seems natural that Hamlet would support his claim to become king of Denmark. 

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hamlet was making a strategic move.  From the time he saw his father's ghost, who told him what Claudius was up to, Hamlet was thrown into a difficult situation.  He seems to have lost his mind a little, but he wanted people to think that.

button33 | Student

Moreover, Hamlet does what is best for the kingdon, and that is to leave the crown to Fortinbras. With all the noble family dead, there must be a person who is capable of taking control of the country, as the country may be unstable. Hamlet believes that Fortinbras is the best person who can take the throne and to keep the state of Denmark still going strong. We also can see that Fortinbras is a very honorable person, for after going to the place where the royal family died, he gives Hamlet a formal burial.