Hamlet and Laertes are two of the main characters in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark, while Laertes is the son of Polonius, Hamlet’s uncle. Both Hamlet and Laertes are grieving the death of their fathers, but they deal with their grief in different ways. Hamlet is more openly emotional, while Laertes suppresses his emotions. Hamlet is also more introspective and thoughtful, while Laertes is more impulsive and action-oriented.
Hamlet vs. Laertes
One major difference between Hamlet and Laertes is how they grieve the death of their fathers. Hamlet is much more emotional about it than Laertes is. Hamlet openly expresses his sadness and anger, whereas Laertes tries to suppress his emotions. Hamlet is also more introspective and thoughtful than Laertes.
He constantly thinks about his father’s death and what it means for him. Laertes, on the other hand, is more impulsive and action-oriented. He doesn’t want to think about his father’s death, he just wants to take revenge.
Another difference between Hamlet and Laertes is their relationship with Ophelia. Hamlet is in love with Ophelia, but she rejects him. This rejection leads Hamlet to become cynical and distrustful of women in general. Laertes, on the other hand, has a healthy relationship with Ophelia. He loves and respects her, and she loves and respects him back.
Hamlet is a tragedy, while Laertes is a comedy. Hamlet deals with themes of death, betrayal, and revenge, while Laertes deals with themes of love, family, and friendship. Hamlet is a dark and depressing play, while Laertes is a light-hearted and optimistic play.
Even if twins are raised in the same environment, share the same daily routine, and live much of their lives similarly, they will respond differently to a problem when confronted with it. Each individual grows through his or her own distinctiveness, flair, and way of life. Shakespeare’s Hamlet demonstrates this fact.
Hamlet and Laertes, two young men brought up in similar environments with shared values, beliefs, and experiences, have different outlooks on life.
Hamlet is the son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet. Laertes is the son of Polonius and the brother of Ophelia. Hamlet was born into royalty and was expected to take his father’s place as king one day. Laertes was not born into royalty, but he too had lofty aspirations.
Hamlet’s mother remarries shortly after his father’s death, while Laertes’ sister goes mad and eventually drowns herself. Hamlet is initially upset about his mother’s hasty marriage to his uncle Claudius, while Laertes is consumed with grief over his sister’s death.
Hamlet is a contemplative and introspective young man, while Laertes is impulsive and quick to action. Hamlet takes a step back and carefully thinks through his decisions before acting, while Laertes rushes into things without thinking them through. Hamlet is also prone to fits of melancholy, often feeling sorry for himself. Laertes is more level-headed and remains level-headed even in the face of tragedy.
Hamlet is a talented swordsman and excels in academics, while Laertes is an expert fencer. Hamlet’s fatal flaw is his indecisiveness, which leads him to contemplate suicide on multiple occasions.
Hamlet and Laertes had similar upbringings, and both their families were wealthy. They were both raised as royals and were treated as such throughout their lives. Hamlet and Laertes received the same kinds of education and were trained to follow the same moral codes. Although Hamlet and Laertes appear to be “twined” in terms of family, royalty, and school, it is clear to the audience how such comparable persons can react so differently when confronted with comparable circumstances.
Hamlet’s father, the King of Denmark, is killed by Hamlet’s Uncle Claudius. Hamlet is then asked to avenge his father’s death by killing Claudius. Hamlet is hesitant to take such drastic measures and instead chooses to observe and bide his time. Laertes, on the other hand, seeks revenge as soon as he learns of his father’s murder. He does not consider the consequences of his actions, and goes about trying to kill Hamlet without any thought or planning.
The way in which Hamlet and Laertes react to their fathers’ deaths speaks volumes about their individual personalities. Hamlet is a thinker; he carefully plans out his actions and takes into consideration all possible outcomes before making a move.
Laertes is impulsive and emotional; he acts on his feelings without thinking about the consequences. Hamlet’s thoughtful nature makes him a better leader than Laertes; Hamlet is able to rally people to his cause and convince them to follow his lead. Laertes, on the other hand, is unable to effectively lead others because he lacks Hamlet’s ability to think things through.
Although they are similar in many ways, Hamlet and Laertes are two very different people. Hamlet is a thinker who carefully plans his actions, while Laertes is impulsive and emotional. Hamlet is a better leader than Laertes because he can think things through and rally people to his cause.
Another such scenario is seen when Hamlet and Laertes are consumed by the most basic human quality, vengeance. While Hamlet and Laertes are quite similar in many ways, Laertes is driven by passion while Hamlet is motivated by reason.
Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, has married Hamlet’s uncle Claudius, the murderer of Hamlet’s father. Hamlet is horrified by his mother’s marriage and ashamed of his own inaction. Laertes’ father, Polonius, has been killed by Hamlet. Laertes is consumed by grief and driven by a desire for revenge. Hamlet is torn between his duty to avenge his father and his revulsion at killing.
Both Hamlet and Laertes are honorable men who are obligated to avenge their fathers’ deaths. Hamlet is hesitant to take action because he is not sure that Claudius is guilty and he does not want to kill an innocent man. Laertes is eager to take action and does not hesitate to kill Hamlet, even though Hamlet is innocent.
Hamlet is a tragic hero who is brought down by his own flaws. Laertes is a foil for Hamlet, a character who contrasts with Hamlet in order to highlight Hamlet’s qualities. Laertes is impulsive and rash, whereas Hamlet is contemplative and deliberate. Laertes is motivated by passion, while Hamlet is motivated by reason. In the end, both men are destroyed by their flaws.
Shakespeare exposes the parallels between Hamlet and Laertes throughout his play in a number of spots. It is understood to the reader that Hamlet and Laertes are both royal sons, with Hamlet being the legitimate king of Denmark’s eldest son, King Hamlet, and Laertes being Polonius’ trusted counselor.
Furthermore, Hamlet and Laertes are both motivated by the death of their fathers- Hamlet’s father was killed by his own brother, Claudius, who then married Hamlet’s mother and became the new king. Laertes’ father was killed by Hamlet in a fight. Although their circumstances differ, Hamlet and Laertes’reasons for revenge are eerily similar.
Shakespeare also examines the different methods that Hamlet and Laertes take to achieve their revenge. Hamlet is known to be a thinker- he is always questioning everything and overthinking his next move. Conversely, Laertes is rash and impulsive; he does not think things through and acts on emotion. Hamlet’s methodical nature is seen as a weakness by Laertes, who believes that Hamlet does not have the guts to take revenge.
Although Hamlet and Laertes are similar in many ways, they also have their differences. Hamlet is a prince, and as such, he must think about the political ramifications of his actions. Laertes does not have this same burden- he can act impulsively and without thinking about the consequences because he is not in line for the throne. Additionally, Hamlet is in love with Ophelia, daughter of Polonius, while Laertes clearly loves his sister, Ophelia. This difference in affections provides Shakespeare with another contrast between the two characters.