Preview
Click here for more Hamlet Essays
Preview

The Role of Fortinbras in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1303 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Steeped within his own pool of madness, the prince of Denmark seeks to avenge the premature death of his father. Claudius must die, die, die! Nothing else matters: not love, or death, or preservation of state, or the means to which the task is accomplished. To right what is wrong is the only focus that matters. Hamlet, blind by his own emotional transitions, is not aware until it is too late that his counterpart to the north also plots and prepares. Being one of the first writers to develop dynamic and intricate characters that leave the readers to question and interpret the characters’ actions for themselves, Shakespeare understood better than anybody else "what a piece of work is a man!" (2.2.305). In the play Hamlet, Shakespeare expresses this idea of the complexity of man through his casting of Prince Hamlet. By understanding the meaning behind the role and function of Fortinbras, it provides further innuendo into Hamlet’s character. Though similar in their predispositions, one is defined by a growing sense of certainty and resolve as the other is plagued by insanity and indecisiveness, and while Fortinbras is destined to succeed, Hamlet navigates toward his own fateful downfall.

Fortinbras functions as a foil to Hamlet throughout the play. His situation parallels Hamlet’s disposition as they enter the plot of the play. Both are princes of their own countries, their fathers have been murdered, and both are on the verge of succeeding as the next heir to the throne. The only obstacles that prevent them from the throne are their uncles, the favored successors after their fathers. While Hamlet seeks revenge against his own uncle for murdering his father in cold blood, Fortinbras’ father is murdered by the hands of H...


... middle of paper ...


...is plan to fruition after the events of the play, while Hamlet exists only as a remembrance.

Fortinbras does what Hamlet could never do. Perhaps most significantly, Fortinbras acts decisively and lives whereas Hamlet's fiasco results in a tragedy. By exposing and emphasizing Hamlet's many strengths and weaknesses as they appear throughout the play, Fortinbras in some aspects is the antithesis of Hamlet's tragic flaw. Although the Prince of Norway assists in the understanding of Hamlet, he does not fully describe the inner workings of the protagonist, thus testifying to the complexity of an individual and Shakespeare’s genius. Some people have been dissecting the character of Hamlet for years. While some characteristics can be attributed, others can only be left as questions. As long as people continue to discover Hamlet, more facets will reveal themselves.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Fortinbras in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay - ... Despite being in the same situation, Fortinbras and Hamlet are almost polar opposites of each other. Hamlet tends to be philosophic; he contemplates everything that happens around him and often winds up with off the wall conclusions and conspiracy theories that borderline the realm of realistic possibilities. Fortinbras is more aggressive; he prefers to actively pursue his desires in order to receive what he wants. Their fathers are dead and both of their kingdoms are being ruled by their uncles, but each prince reacts differently to the situation that they are in....   [tags: polar opposites, characters]
:: 2 Works Cited
706 words
(2 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Essay about Theme of Revenge in Shakespeare's Hamlet - For a play to be considered a revenge tragedy, revenge has to be a prevalent theme throughout. Revenge needs to be intertwined in character interactions, and have a strong hold on the driving force of the plot. The desires of Hamlet, Laertes, and young Fortinbras each exhibit how the plot of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare revolves entirely around revenge. The theme of revenge starts off very early in the play, when Hamlet speaks with the ghost of his deceased father. When the ghost tells Hamlet how Claudius murdered him, Hamlet is infuriated and overtaken with feelings of responsibility to right the wrong that has been done; to murder Claudius....   [tags: Hamlet, Shakespeare] 871 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Fortinbras, Laertes and Horatio, as Foils to Hamlet Essay - Fortinbras, Laertes and Horatio, as Foils to Hamlet          "What a piece of work is a man!" (II, 2, 305). In his statement Prince Hamlet, in his role as the star character in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, acknowledges the complexity of man; as "infinite in faculties. . . express and admirable. . . like an angel [or] like a god. . . and yet. . . [a] quintessence of dust" (II, 2, 307) is man described. Shakespeare emphasizes the observation by casting Hamlet as "a man," exposing his strengths and weaknesses through the contrast provided by Fortinbras, Laertes and Horatio, as foils to the tragic hero....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet] 1063 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Role of Minor Characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - The Role of Minor Characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet Minor characters play a very crucial role in Shakespear's Hamlet. They serve as narrators for events that occurred outside the immediate play: the Dane's ghost. Distinct contrasts are created through the usage of the play's minor characters. The reader gains new perspective on Hamlet's character when he is compared with Laertes. The presence of these minor characters can also have a direct effect on the action of the play. The actors in the play within the play are used to expose the guilt of Claudius; Hamlet then has proof of the King's crimes....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays] 655 words
(1.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Character Horatio in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - The Character Horatio in Shakespeare's Hamlet In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the confidant Horatio is created to serve a number of different purposes. Horatio is a flat character. He is a loyal, obedient, and trustworthy companion to Hamlet. His character does not undergo any significant transformation throughout the play, except that he serves as a witness of the death of Hamlet, Claudius, and Gertrude. Horatio's role in the play seems to be as a utilitarian character that Shakespeare created in order to heighten the suspense of the play....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1244 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Shakespeare's Presentation Of Claudius In Hamlet Essay - Shakespeare's Presentation Of Claudius In Hamlet 'Hamlet' opens with the death of Old King Hamlet, Father of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The new king, Claudius, brother of the previous king has married Gertrude, the dead man's widow and has taken the throne. Shakespeare presents Claudius as the plays 'damned smiley villain' although he does allow him some redeeming features; leading an audience to view him as a complex and contradictory figure within the play. After Old King Hamlet dies Claudius is crowned king of Denmark and talks to the people as though he has sympathy and is saddened by his brother's death 'and that it is us befitted to bear out hearts in gri...   [tags: William Shakespeare Tragedy of Hamlet] 1666 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay The Profound Irony of Shakespeare's Hamlet - Profound Irony of Hamlet       Irony, or the “hiding what is actually the case” in order to “achieve special rhetorical or artistic effects” (Abrams 135), is amply demonstrated in Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet.   In his essay, “Reforming the Role,” Mark Rose discusses the irony involved with the ghost’s appearance:   The ghost binds Hamlet to vengeance, but there is another and more subtle way in which the spirit of his father haunts the prince. It is one of the radical ironies of the tragedy that the same nightmarish figure who takes from Hamlet his freedom should also embody the ideal of man noble in reason and infinite in faculties – the ideal of man, in other words, as free....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]
:: 18 Works Cited
2421 words
(6.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Revenge in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay examples - Revenge in Shakespeare's Hamlet In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses revenge as a major theme present throughout the work. Revenge plays a crucial role in the development of Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, and Laertes, son of Polonius. All three men seek revenge for the murder of their fathers. Revenge can be interpreted as a separate character in Hamlet. Revenge is set to overcome anyone who seeks it. Initially, after each of the murders, every son had a definite course of action to obtain vengeance....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays William ]
:: 1 Works Cited
1429 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about The Importance of Claudius' Guilt in Shakespeare's Hamlet - The Importance of Claudius' Guilt in Hamlet     In the first three acts of the play Hamlet, King Claudius go through a subtle, but defined change in character.  Claudius role in the play begins as the newly corrinated king of Denmark.  The former king, King Hamlet, was poisoned by his brother, Claudius, while he was asleep.  Claudius, however, made it known to everyone that the king died of a snakebite in the garden, and thus no one knew of the murder that had just taken place making his murder the perfect crime.  The only problem that Claudius must deal with now is his conscience....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]
:: 2 Works Cited
865 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Significance of the Ghost to William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - Significance of the Ghost to William Shakespeare's Hamlet In Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', the ghost plays a key role in influencing the destinies of the other characters. The ghost is important to the play as it symbolizes both fate and catalyses the plot. It also brings the play into the revenge tragedy genre, which allows foreshadowing to occur and helps the audience, both Elizabethan and contemporary to better understand the play and appreciate it. The late King Hamlet is forced to roam the earth as he was murdered before he could confess to his sins, having to remain in purgatory till his sins are washed from him and he is able to enter into heaven....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet] 1576 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]