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Hamlet vs. Laertes
Derek S. Ross
Laertes and Hamlet, despite Laertes being decisive and Hamlet not, share many things in common. These similarities include their desire for revenge, their love for Ophelia, and their respect for their fathers. Also the families bear similarities, such as the distrust the father figures bear on each child as well as their ability to control, to some degree, the women in the families.
Laertes and Hamlet both display impulsive reactions when angered. Once Laertes discovers his father has been murdered Laertes immediately assumes the murderer is Claudius. As a result of Laertes\'s speculation he instinctively moves to avenge Polonius\'s death. Laertesís speech with Claudius provides insight into Laertes\'s mind displaying his desire for revenge at any cost. In contrast to Laertes speculation of his father\'s killer, Hamlet presumes the individual spying on his conversation with Gertrude is Claudius. Consequently, Hamlet consumed with rage automatically thrusts out attempting to kill Claudius, but instead strikes Polonius. Hamletís and Laertes\'s hasty actions are incited by fury and frustration. Sudden anger prompts both Hamlet and Laertes to act spontaneously, giving little thought to the consequences of their actions.
Hamlet and Laertes share a different but deep love and concern for Ophelia. Before his departure for France, Laertes provides lengthy advice to Ophelia pertaining to her relationship with Hamlet. Laertes voices his concern of Hamlet\'s true intentions towards Ophelia and advises her to be wary of Hamlet\'s love. Hamlet\'s strong love for Ophelia withers after she rejects his affinity; however, Hamlet\'s extensive love for Ophelia results in grave suffering for Hamlet once his affection becomes rejected. Hamlet\'s appearance decays due to this rejection. The loss of Ophelia\'s love for Hamlet causes Polonius to believe Opheliaís rejection caused Hamlet to go mad. Once Laertes learns of the death of his sister he is afflicted with sadness. In the same way, Hamlet is shocked and enraged over Ophelia\'s demise. Both Hamlet and Laertes are so profoundly distressed at the death of Ophelia they jump into her grave and fight each other. Although Hamlet and Laertes despised one another, they both loved Ophelia. Hamlet was infatuated with Ophelia, which was obvious during his constant anguish over her. Laertes shared a strong brotherly love for Ophelia, evident in his advice to her. Laertes further displays his love for Ophelia during her funeral were he fights Hamlet.
Hamlet and Laertes are similar in the way they associate with their families. Laertes highly respects and loves his father Polonius. Similarly, Hamlet holds a great respect for his dead. After the death of their fathers, Hamlet and Laertes strive to seek revenge on the assassins. Laertes gives his sister Ophelia guidance on her relationship with Hamlet. In the same way, Hamlet is able to persuade Gertrude he is not mad and manipulate her to follow his instructions. Hamlet directs his mother to convince Claudius of Hamlet\'s madness. Hamlet is able to make his mother reflect upon her part in the death of his father and feel guilty. Furthermore, Hamlet instructs his mother not to sleep with Claudius. The fathers of Laertes and Hamlet both attempted to use spies to gain information on their sons. Claudius employed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to gather information on Hamlet. In comparison, Polonius dispatches Reynaldo to check up on Laertes. Hamlet and Laertes share similar aspects within their families.
Hamlet and Laertes demonstrate rash behaviour when infuriated. Hamlet becomes outraged at the notion of Claudius spying on him, resulting in Hamlet mistakenly killing Polonius. Laertes becomes drastically angered at the death of his father and boldly seeks vengeance against Claudius. Momentary rage overcomes Laertes and Hamlet prompting them to act spontaneously. Hamlet and Laertes both have a strong love for Ophelia. Hamlet\'s deep love for Ophelia is evident in his reaction to her rejection of him. In the same way, Laertesís care and affection are revealed by his advice to his sister. The families of Laertes and Hamlet contain similar attributes. Hamlet and Laertes hold a high admiration for their fathers and are willing to even kill the king to enact revenge. In conclusion, although adversaries, Hamlet and Laertes share several characteristics which make them similar.
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Characters in Hamlet, English-language films, British films, Laertes, Prince Hamlet, Polonius, Ophelia, Hamlet, Gertrude, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Critical approaches to Hamlet
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