Hamlet and Laertes share some basic similarities. Both are young Danish men who have positions at court. As a prince, Hamlet has a much higher rank; however, Laertes is the son of a royal advisor. The young men greatly value honor, both in regard to their own conduct and to that of Ophelia, who is Laertes’s sister. Both men lose their fathers to violent ends: Hamlet’s father, Hamlet Sr., is poisoned, while Laertes’s father, Polonius, is stabbed. These violent circumstances make them both resolve to gain vengeance against the killer.
Unfortunately, it was Hamlet who killed Polonius, so Laertes decides to kill him. Hamlet had thought he was stabbing Claudius, as he could not see who was behind the arras. In this regard, both men behave impulsively. Overall, however, Laertes is decisive and quick to act, while Hamlet is usually thoughtful and hesitant.
Their commitment to honor applies to their concern for Ophelia. Laertes had not believed that Hamlet was serious about his romance with...
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