Monday, August 19, 2019

Shakespeares Hamlet †The Character Laertes :: GCSE English Literature Coursework

Hamlet – the Character Laertes      Ã‚  Ã‚   In â€Å"The World of Hamlet† Maynard Mack describes the interference of a possessive Polonius in the life of his son, Laertes:    â€Å"The apparel of proclaims the man,† Polonius assures Laertes, cataloging maxims in the young man’s ear as he is about to leave for Paris. Oft, but not always. And so he sends his man Reynaldo to look into Laertes’ life there – even, if need be, to put a false dress of accusation upon his son (â€Å"What forgeries you please†), the better by indirections to find directions out (250).    Mack describes one of the lesser problems in life which Laertes must deal with. The son of Polonius and brother of Ophelia, Shakespeare’s Laertes must suffer the demise of both father and sister during the course of Hamlet. Helen Gardner, by way of overview, compares Laertes to Hamlet and King Claudius in â€Å"Hamlet and the Tragedy of Revenge†:    Hamlet’s agony of mind and indecision are precisely the things which differentiate him from the smooth, swift plotter Claudius, and from the coarse, unthinking Laertes, ready to â€Å"dare damnation† and cut his enemy’s throat in a churchyard. (222)    Laertes makes his appearance in the drama after Marcellus, Barnardo and Horatio have already seen the Ghost and have trifled with it in an effort to prompt it to communicate with them. Horatio and Marcellus exit the ramparts of Elsinore intending to enlist the aid of Hamlet, who is dejected by the â€Å"o’erhasty marriage† to Hamlet I’s wife less than two month’s after the funeral of Hamlet’s father (Gordon 128). After this scene, Laertes is one of many in attendance at a post-coronation social gathering of the court at Elsinore. Laertes, like Fortinbras a rival of Hamlet (Kermode 1138), comes with his father, Polonius, who manipulates both him and his sister (Boklund 122).G. Wilson Knight says, â€Å"Instinctively the creatures of earth—Laertes, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, league themselves with Claudius: they are of his kind† (N. pag.). Claudius insincerely pays tribute to the memory of his own deceased brother, the former king, and then conducts some items of business, for example dispatching Cornelius and Voltemand to Norway to settle the Fortinbras affair. Laertes has meanwhile approached the king, who asks, â€Å"And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? / You told us of some suit; what is't, Laertes?† Laertes responds:

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