In Hamlet,the author portrays a foil between Fortinbras and Hamlet. Fortinbras. Fortinbras’ characteristics bring out both the terrible and the best qualities out of Hamlet throughout the play.Fortinbras and Hamlet are the Prince of their own country.
Both have lost their fathers’ and wanted to take vengeance for them..The differences between them is that Fortinbras acts more quickly in the revenge on his father. Fortinbras’s plan didn’t involve in killing people but for Hamlet, his revenge killed many others lives that was supposedly close to him .They both had seeked to reclaim the throne, power and avenge their father’s deaths. Even though they had similar backgrounds, their distinctiveness came into play to show Hamlet’s vulnerability. The disparity lies in their purpose; Hamlet wants to kill Claudius for personal reasons ,while Fortinbras strives to rebuild his father’s kingdom by leading army of strong men into battle, and tries to conquer the land of Poland.
It shows their inaction vs action, while Hamlet is doing this for personal reasons,he is tied down by his morality and hesitates to kill Claudius, like the instance in Act 3 Scene 3, Instead of taking advantage of the only moment Hamlet has alone with Claudius, Hamlet overthinks the whole situation and makes up an excuse for himself to not kill Claudius, which was that he believed murdering him now as he is praying would send him to heaven. Fortinbras on the other hand, takes action while Hamlet has no self motivation and wastes most of his time in a state of madness.While Hamlet has to create a plan against Claudius efficiently and carefully, Fortinbras is able to lead his army and plan openly. Hamlet struggles with his emotions towards those that are guilty and he admires Fortinbras and his ability to lead and channel his anger in retaking the land he lost and is a man that takes action for what he believes in.He compares himself to Fortinbras when he encounters Fortinbras’ army and he sees Fortinbras as a role model for how he should behave.
“To be great / is not to stir without great argument / but greatly to find quarrel in a straw / when honor’s at the stake” (4.4 56-59).Meaning, Hamlet acknowledges that Fortinbras doesn’t have very good reasons for leading an army against Poland, which is useless land that nobody wants.Hamlet wishes to be like Fortinbras and because of this,we see Hamlet’s flaws through his indecisiveness and inability to act quickly.