Compare and Contrast Hamlet and Laertes
- Date:Jun 12, 2019
Laertes is a character in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. He is a son to Polonius. The two characters, Hamlet and Laertes, develop contrasting personalities. There are different comparisons and contrasts significant within different issues, as addressed by different authors.Bennett lays on the fact of characterization of Polonius an advice to Laertes. Waters Bennett states that Polonius was not worthy of respect in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. As to other characters, I think that Hamlet’s and Laertes’s differences are quite evident in their personalities. There is no respect between Laertes and Hamlet due to their father’s deep concern with whether their sons will destroy their family names or not. I plan to use this fact as a centre of comparison of Hamlet and Laertes as sons. This is evident as Polonius has concern because of his sons’ actions, and Claudius is also concerned with Hamlets actions. This becomes evident when Hamlet is sent away to England so as to protect the family name from being corrupted (Bennett 5).
Skulsky takes on revenge, honour and conscience, as addressed in Hamlet. Laertes plots to kill Hamlet to revenge on the death of Polonius, his father. Hamlet’s revenge is not effective because he delays in terms of taking action, as depicted in Act Three. I believe that, although Hamlet kills Claudius, Laertes father, Hamlet’s success in killing Claudius is efficient as it is Claudius who plans to kill Hamlet and gets backfire instead. This is obvious when Laertes becomes aware that his father is murdered and through the speculation is to avenge Polonius’s death. Hamlet’s and Laertes’s actions are caused by frustration they go through when they aim to justify their actions (Skulsky 84).
Downer’s view titled Hamlet Year is one of those coincidences that rarely takes place. According to Harmlet Year, Laerters carries no conviction and no sincerity, and he remains the avenger being aware of his blighted future unlike the wrongs of his father. Downer emphasizes how Hamlet died in a reluctant way being deeply disappointed in life. In my opinion, Hamlet is outraged when he realizes Claudius is spying on him, which results in Hamlet killing Polonius by a terrible mistake. Laertes is drastically angered by the death of his father and seeks for revenge against Claudius. Both Hamlet and Laertes respect their father and even elaborate plans to kill the King (Downer, 162).
According to Charney, Hamlet without words is opposed by Laertes’ clamour, noise, and commotion to show Laertes commands. This is through the definition where the essay intends to defend the original document or audience for those trying to read it carefully. The costumes used in a play are obvious characterizations of the various costumes they both wear dictate their respective characters (Downer 468).
To conclude, Laertes and Hamlet have their respective concerns for Ophelia as they both have an extensive love for Ophelia as proved when they fought during her funeral. They can also be compared in the way they both love and respect their families. Finally, their anger, and urge for revenge also form basis for comparison.
Bennett, Josephine. “Characterization in Polonius Advice to Laertes.” London, Folger Shakespeare Library. 1953: 3-9. Print.
Skulsky, Harold. Revenge, Honour, and Conscience in “Hamlet”. London, Modern Language Association. 1970: 78-87. Print.
Downer, Allan. The Hamlet Year. London, Spring. 1954: 155-165. Print.
Charney, Maurice. Hamlet Without Words. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1965: 457-477. Print.