Claudius had hastily married Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, following the death, and had thereby ascended the throne. Yet his path for vengeance is waylaid, time after time, by foils.
We then discussed the role of specific characters, including Fortinbras (the king of Norway), Claudius (the murderer of Hamlet's father), Laertes (who seeks revenge on Hamlet), and Horatio (Hamlet's friend and confidant). We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities.
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Once Hamlet learns that Claudius killed his father, he begins his journey of revenge.
Claudius's presence in the play allows us to learn of Hamlet's rage and his elaborate, though sometimes hasty, schemes for revenge.
In addition, Hamlet inadvertently kills Polonius, thinking he is Claudius hidden behind a curtain.
Justifiably, Laertes blames Hamlet for both of the deaths and vows his own revenge, ultimately stabbing Hamlet with a poisoned sword.Often, however, foils can unearth negative traits in principal characters, showing that the hero is not necessarily heroic, or at least that he has faults.At the very least, foils function as roadblocks on the protagonist's journey.With no heir to the throne, Fortinbras becomes king of both Norway and Denmark.Fortinbras is thus a foil because the constant threat of his attack gives Hamlet great anxiety.The protagonist, Prince Hamlet of Denmark, must find out who killed his father and bring the culprit to justice.In the background of the play, there has been a long feud between Denmark and Norway, so the latter could be the murderers.A foil is present in literature to contrast the protagonist, or the hero of the story.Foils do not necessarily have to be antagonists, or villains; rather, they are often secondary characters who bring out something hidden in the protagonist.In this lesson, we examined foils in William Shakespeare's Hamlet.We began by defining foils in literature as characters, often antagonists, who contrast aspects of protagonists.