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15 October, 15:20

Compare and contrast King Hamlet and Prince Hamlet with King Fortinbras and Prince Fortinbras. Explain the importance of these relationships. Your answer should be at least 250 words.

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  1. 15 October, 15:33
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    The King and Prince Fortinbras serve as foils to the play's protagonist Prince Hamlet and his father, King Hamlet. King Hamlet only appears as a ghost, to confirm that something is wrong and needs to be corrected. We don't meet King Fortinbras anywhere in the play, and even Prince Fortinbras only appears briefly, as a winner and conqueror of Denmark, once its own Hamlet dynasty is finally dead. Even though both fathers are dead, there are significant differences between the two of them: King Hamlet's soul still wanders the earth, seeking vengeance. On the other hand, King Fortinbras was killed, but his soul doesn't roam and haunt young Fortinbras. Unlike his counterpart, passive and contemplative Hamlet, Prince Fortinbras exactly knows what is to be done, so he takes action and reclaims the lost territory, achieving his and his father's political goal. The Hamlets are poisoned by their family issues. King Hamlet's death isn't a natural death of a monarch. He was killed by his own brother, who then married his wife and took the throne. So, this family conflict needs to be resolved, even at the political price (the end of the dynasty and loss of Denmark to Norway).
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