Polonius and Laertes Assist Hamlet

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude Pages: 3 (985 words) Published: January 30, 2011
1. In his play, Hamlet, William Shakespeare uses various foils to make the play more complex. These foils involve numerous characters that help to develop different relationships and conflicts. Without these foils, the relationships and conflicts would not happen, and the play could not develop. They help us to understand Hamlet[']s actions and bring diversity to the play. Polonius and Laertes are the main foils for Hamlet. Polonius shows how irrational Hamlet thinks, and Laertes shows that Hamlet must pay for his actions, even if he is royalty. This plot and conflict develop from the similarities and differences between Hamlet and the foils.

2. Why are foils required to understand and develop the play? A foil is a minor character used to help develop or understand a major character. The foil must have some similarities with the major character in order to create a link with him. A foil must also be different in order to show or distinguish something about the major character. The foil does not always have an active role. Sometimes the foil is just someone for the major character to talk to. This allows his ideas to come through to the audience without a narrator; therefore, the foil is a kind of prop to help develop the role of the major character. Without a foil, there is no one to help develop or understand the major character, [;] thus his ideas cannot be revealed to the audience. Polonius was an important foil for Hamlet.

3. Polonius and Hamlet were similar in that they both loved Ophelia and tried to protect her. While Polonius died trying, Hamlet encouraged [?] her to go to a nunnery. Unfortunately, she died anyway. Also, Hamlet and Polonius both died trying to protect a woman. Polonius was trying to protect Ophelia from Hamlet, just as Hamlet was trying to protect his mother from Claudius. [Nice point] Both men were also loyal to a king--Polonius to Claudius, and Hamlet to his father. Here again, both kings were killed.

4. Polonius and Hamlet...
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