Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Act IV -- Hamlet and Laertes

How is Laertes's situation similar to Hamlet's? How has Shakespeare characterized them differently? Compare and contrast these two important characters in regard to their situations, actions, speech, etc.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Laertes is upset over the death of his father, much like Hamlet was upset over the death of his father, the King. Both Laertes and Hamlet have been decieved by King Claudius. King Claudius is the one who killed Hamlet's father and is now lying to Hamlet about what happened. Hamlet knows what happened and wants justice. Laertes, aware that Hamlet was the one who murdered his father too wants justice. I think that the difference between these two characters is that Laertes wants immiediate justice and wil do anthing for Hamlet to be dead. He is not worried about speaking with Hamlet or furthur investigating the situation. Hamlet has been more gentle in his approach to dealing with Claudius. He wants to see how Claudius reacts to accusations. I believe that doesn't necessarily just want to murder Claudius, but he wants what will be fair to happen.

Marissa

Anonymous said...

Laertes and Hamlet are both trying to deal with the death of their fathers and what the honorable course of action is when a father is murdered. Shakespeare shows the audience Hamlet's thoughts and justifications which make him easier to like. Laertes comes across as someone being used. At the funeral of Ophelia Laertes is upset but refuses to cry. Hamlet also gets emotional and the two grapple. It seems like they have similar sense of honor but circumstances put them against each other. If Laertes knew about the king murdering Hamelt's father he probably wouldn't approve.
-Caitlin

Anonymous said...

Laertes's situation is similar to Hamlet's because he too lost his father by another man's hand. In a sense, both have lost Ophelia, Laertes's sister and Hamlet's "lover." I think Shakespeare made Laertes more likeable, even though we know less about him. Hamlet is crazy and was extremely mean to Ophelia. Just because he acted crazy at that point doesn't mean that he needed to be rude. Both Hamlet and Laertes are encouraged by others; Laertes by Claudius, Hamlet by his father's ghost. Revenge might not have crossed their minds without Claudius and King Hamlet. And now Laertes will want even more revenge on Hamlet after Ophelia's death.
Paige

Greg said...

Laertes and Hamlet are in similar situations in two senses: that they have both lost their father's to murder and that they both in a sense lost Ophelia (Hamlet's love affair and Laertes sister). However, it seems Laertes is far more rash and wants revenge instantly without first mulling over the situation. He is far more hot-headed, whereas Hamlet dwells on the situation, scheming and weighing pros and cons. Being walked through Hamlet's thought process makes him the easier character to connect with. While Laertes is fiercely dedicated to his ideals, he is almost a puppet for Claudius, who takes advantage of Laertes blind rage for his personal gain. However, the two characters are very similar, but circumstance has it that they are enemies.

Greg

Anonymous said...

All though Laertes and Hamlet have both lost their fathers, they deal with it much differently. Hamlet seeks an answer and the truth while Laertes immediately seeks revenge. They also have both lost Opehlia. She was only a little more than a friend and occasional lover to Hamlet but she was Laertes sister. They both feel horribly about her death and each blames himself somewhat for it. Each expresses their sadness in a modest way. When Hamlet speaks, its in a twisty turny way that makes the reader or the person being spoken to, really have to think. When Laertes speaks it is direct and straight forward.

Ali

Anonymous said...

They are both upset over the death of their fathers'. Hamlet's uncle/step father killed Hamlet's dad and now is trying to make everyone believe that he didn't but Hamlet knows he did poision his dad. Hamlet just wants to revenge his father's death because he thinks that will make him feel that justice was served. Laertes, knows that Hamlet killed his father and wants to kill Hamlet to receive Justice. I think the difference between the two are that Laertes wants it doe right now but Hamlet takes his time and acts mad while he waits for the right time for his revenge.

Kaitlyn Pierce

Anonymous said...

Both Laertes and Hamlet are upset over their fathers death. Hamlet at first was unaware of how his father had died until he met with the ghost. When he did realize the truth he was unsure of how to deal with the situation and debated until he met with fortinbras. Laertes found out Hamlet killed his father and didn't want to hear anymore, he just wanted revenge.
Quinn

Anonymous said...

The two characters are similar in that they both are seeking revenge over the deaths of their fathers. However, they are different because it is not common knowledge that Claudius killed Hamlet's father so he must secretly pursue his revenge. Laertes acts more openly because Hamlet's murder of Polonius is known, so he can act in the open and directly seek revenge.

Anonymous said...

Matt

Patrick "Filipino" Leick said...

They are both alike because they both want revenge for the murders of their fathers. Hamlet wants revenge against Claudius and Laertes wants revenge against Hamlet. The ultimate cause of Hamlet killing Polonius was because hamlet though he was Claudius, so the death of Polonius is Claudius' fault in a way. They are different because hamlet knows for a fact that Claudius murdered his father with bad intentions but Laertes rushes into getting revenge, not realizing that Hamlet had no intentions of killing Polonius. It was all a terrible accident.

Anonymous said...

Laertes and Hamlet both lost their fathers and both seek revenge. However they go about it in different ways. Hamlet is at first unsure that he could trust the ghost's story. Only Hamlet knows about his father's death while everyone knows about Polonius'. Laetres wants to kill Hamlet immediatly and plots with the king to so. The way their fathers died is also different. King Hamlet was killed with poison and treachery while Polonius was killed by mistaken identity and with a sword. In the end they both get their revenge.

Ben

Anonymous said...

Both Laertes and Hamlet's fathers have been killed and want revenge. Laertes is outspoken about his hatred for Hamlet, while Hamlet is cunning and secretly plotting his revenge. They both were tricked by Claudius, but Hamlet had always hated Claudius, where as Laertes trusted him. Also, Hamlet wanted to reveal Claudius as the deceitful traitor he is, but everyone already knew of Hamlet's murder of Laertes' father.
-Maddy-

Anonymous said...

Laertes and Hamlet are in a similar situation because both of their father's have been killed. They both seek revenge for different reasons though, and that tells alot of their characters. Hamlet is very angry about his father's murder, but does not really want to resort to murder to gain revenge. Laertes on the other hand is steaming mad and eager to gain revenge in any manner necessary. He is easily influenced by Claudius in the matter of seeking revenge. Overall, Hamlet appears to be the more thoughtful and more intelligent of the two. He doesn't make rash, sudden decisions, and always seems to know what is going on. Laertes on the other hand is very headstrong and easily led into foolish decisions.

Ethan

Jana said...

Laertes and Hamlet both have very similar situations. Both are upset by their father's death and desire to take action and avenge the deaths. They are also very loyal to their fathers and it is obvious that they would do anything for them. Not only are they loyal to their fathers, but also loyal to the ones they love. Both have lost Ophelia and feel somehow responsible for her death. They are characterized differently by the way that they react to their father's death. Laertes is impulsive and rushes in to kill the first person that he believes was responsible for the death of his father. Hamlet, on the other hand, thinks the problem out more thoroughly and considers the consequences before rushing into something.

Cameron Collard said...

When Laertes find his father is murdered, he rushes around in a fury, not stopping to think, only wanting revenge. He blindly insults and threatens his king in rage, then shifts his blame to Hamlet and decides to kill him. I think this is much closer to madness than Hamlet ever came. Hamlet maintained his calmness throughout the whole play, and his killing of Claudius ended up becoming an act of desperation, since everyone else, including himself, was already dead. Laertes disobeys the rules of the contest and kills Hamlet in cold blood, even after Hamlet had tried to reconcile himself in some way. I think at this point Hamlet realized that Laertes was going to kill him, since he takes his attacks to a level beyond that of the contest. With Hamlet and Gertrude murdered, and with Laerte's accusation, Claudius is revealed to everyone as a murderer and Hamlet has no excuse not to take his revenge.

Anonymous said...

Hamlet was upset because of the death of his father. In addition, this is the same reason that Laertes's is also upset. They both lost their fathers and therefore are upset. Laertes knows that Hamlet killed his father and Hamlet knows that claudius killed his father. Therefore, there both trying to seek justice from the person who killed their father. Even though Hamlet tries to seek justice, Laertes tries to seek revenge. Also, each of these two characters are influenced by another character. Hamlet by his fathers ghost and Laertes by Claudius. After the death of Ophelia, Laertes will now try even harder to seek revenge from King Hamlet.

Brett

Hannah Vogel said...

Laerte's father was also murdered. Shakespeare characterizes Laertes as more brutal as he simply wants to avenge the death of his father immediately whereas Hamlet, aware of other people's feelings, is waiting for an appropriate time. Laertes also relieves help from others, Claudius, to succeed in killing Hamlet. Hamlet on the other hand keeps quiet about knowing his father's murderer so he can kill him less brutally and just get him out of the way. Hamlet also wants to be absolutely sure that Claudius killed his father, hence the play plan, whereas Laertes just wants justice and no explanation.

Anonymous said...

Both Laertes and Hamlet have lost their fathers in the hands of another man, and both men want to avenge their fathers. However Laertes doesn't realy thing about how he is going to kill Hamlet, he just follows the Kings orders and tries to rid of him as soon as possible, whereas Hamlet thinks about the best way to pay back Claudius for killing his father, and in the end the job was done for him. Both men also lost the dear Ophelia.

Shakespeare makes Hamlet look like the victim in the play. He lost his father to his uncle, and then his mother marries the murdering uncle. Laertes looks more like a villian. He lost his father to Hamlet but is so angry he only wants to take action. He doesnt think about things.

Kaylie

Anonymous said...

Laertes is upset with the killing of Polonious, just as Hamlet is upset with the killing of his father. Both want to gain revenge on the murderer. Both end up getting what they want: to kill who killed their father, but must risk their lives to win this as well. Unlike Laertes, Hamlet thinks about the consequences of killing Claudius and questions himself before acting, where as Laertes wants his revenge as soon as possible and will do anything...pretty much right after his father's death, he agrees to dual with Hamlet. Hamlet wanted to gain revenge by having Claudius suffer before he killed him unlike Laertes who just wanted Hamlet dead.

Stephanie Stanczyk

Anonymous said...

Both Laertes and Hamlet are mad about the deaths of their fathers. Hamlet has been lied to by his uncle Claudius and so has Laertes. Laertes is roped into doing the evil deed of killing Hamlet because of Claudius filling his head with lies. Both men are looking for justice and don't want to let anything come in the way of them getting the results/answers they need. I think that if Laertes knew the whole situation with Hamlet and the death of Hamlet's father he wouldn't have done what Claudius had asked of him and fewer people may have died.

Jasmine