Comparing and Contrasting Hamlet and Laertes

Topics: Family, Difference, Death Pages: 2 (437 words) Published: April 4, 2011
Kaitlyn Gordon 2/21/22
Mrs. Leonard Pre-AP English
Project #24
Comparing and Contrasting Hamlet and Laertes
There are many ways throughout the play in which Hamlet and Laertes are both similar and different. Some are more obvious than the others, but yet they are still there. You may not think that there are any similarities because of the outward differences between these two men, like their family background. Hamlet is the son of the dead king, his father, and is heir to the throne of Denmark. Laertes is the son of Polonius, who is basically the king’s, or Hamlet’s uncle’s, right-hand man. As stated above, Hamlet is higher in rank than Laertes; a simple, obvious difference.

Another is about their dead fathers. When Hamlet’s father dies, he mopes around and mourns his father’s death for a while. Even when his mother and uncle are having their wedding party, Hamlet is seen still wearing his mourning clothes, or black clothing. Also, he happens to see his father’s ghost, which causes him to start acting crazy a little. That is a similarity between Laertes and Hamlet; the death of their fathers cause them to go on revenge of their deaths, but the difference is in how they put their revenge into motive. When Laertes’s father dies, on the other hand, he immediately rounds up a mob and charges the castle, threatening the king, or Claudius, at sword point. Probably not a smart thing for Laertes to do, but apparently he did it anyways.

Another difference is their emotional behavior. Laertes is more of a hypocrite, and doesn’t always “follow what he preaches,” according to his sister, Ophelia. He his highly overly demonstrative as well, in which case Hamlet is not. Laertes’s is also not as knowledgeable as Hamlet and not as patient. Also, Laertes throws away his honor and begins cheating and lying for revenge, even though he explains to everyone that he is still prating about his “terms of honor.” Hamlet, oppositely, never stoops to his level. Hamlet also...
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