Monday, December 3, 2007

Blog Question Over Act IV

By the end of this act Laertes has found out a lot of new information, like his father being killed and his sister dieing. In a way he can be paralleled to Hamlet for the things that he is doing as well as what he is predicted to do. (act with revenge against Hamlet) What can you say about Laertes after this whole act is over? What characteristics does he emmulate from other characters?

23 comments:

brooksk said...

I am astounded by how bias Shakespeare is in regards to the typical charaacteristics and traits of males or females. Laertes again takes on the mentality of Hamlet to act compulsively for revenge as he has just been stranded alone with no family in the world; such as Hamlet. In addition to their compulsive vengeance and dominant behavior towards women, both are respective of religious affairs and will not murder during a religious setting. This can be taken as either they feel morally obligated not to or simply they believe that it would bring forgiveness and peace to their victim's souls. But what is so "emulating" about Laertes is his compassion towards his family members, and he follow his father's footsteps in looking out for his little sister. I think that this maybe sheds a peek (yes peek as in peek through a door, not mountain peak) of light on his vengeance for being a courageous and loyal brother and son whereas Hamlet has simply gone mad and has turned this into a vengeance in which he betrays his mother and his "loved one" Ophelia.

michaelm said...

Well, like Brooks said, Laertes can correspond with Hamlet because of his sense of loneliness in the world after the loss of his father and sister within a close time frame. We see now that Laertes is contemplating the revenge on Hamlet, as the one responsible. I understand why Laertes feels this way because, like Hamlet, he is upset. The only way he shall feel relieved is by performing the same murderous ways as Hamlet. It�s almost like these two characters are so insecure, that they must �get back� at the murderers of their family members to feel strong or at ease.

Samantha E said...

I agree with Michael and Brooks that these two characters are very similar. They are also very similar to Fortinbras. However the big thing I noticed as far as a parallel between characters is how similar Learates is to his father. Earlier in the play we discussed how �like father, like son� is a common theme. Learates feels he needs to be on Claudius�s side to gain power. He is going to do anything to make himself look good. His father was completely against Hamlet so why shouldn�t he be? These two characters are very similar and because of that Learates will probably go to an extreme to please the king just like his father did.

samt said...

Throughout all of the acts that we have read so far, each character is pretty much dealing with the same thing. For example, Hamlet losing his father, Laertes and Ophelia lose their father, Gertrude loses her husband, so on and so forth. Each character, like Hamlet, is dealing with a death, just only in different ways. What Laertes is going through is very close to Hamlet because his father has been killed and he wants revenge. After this whole act is over, we were able to get more of a glimpse of who Laertes is and what kind of character he has, which is very closely related to Hamlet. We see that Shakespeare has connected each character to be dealing with a death, but unlike Hamlet, everyone else is given help. I think this is why we see Hamlet as a tragic hero because he is the only one in this play who is facing death alone and this is how Shakespeare makes Hamlet stand out. Also, Shakespeare shows the audience how hypocritical everyone in the play is in the way that they treat Hamlet when they themselves have problems of their own.

courtneyw said...

DEATH= ultimately the biggest conflict people have in the writing of Shakespeare.

Laertes is the one character that we really have not seen or heard much about in Hamlet, so far. He emmulates many characteristics from alot of the characters in Hamlet. He emmulates Polonius' by trying to please the king. He also emmulates Fortinbras and Hamlet by wanting to seek revenge and wanting to have a relationship with their dead fathers and their lonliness. I really think that Laertes is like a sponge, absorbing everyone elses characteristics.

I really wonder, What is going to happen next in Hamlet?

kmckeon said...

Courtney- How is Laertes trying to please the king? I feel that Laertes is doing it for himself and to avenge his fathers death. I don't get the impression that he is trying to please the king, just because he is plotting the death of Hamlet WITH the king does not mean that he is trying to please him.
After whole act is over I can say that Laertes has the same feelings as Hamlet (in reguards to taking revenge on his fathers killer) but they deal with their emotions in different ways. They are both angry and full of hate but Laertes seems to have a much more violent mindset. Claudius asks Laertes how far he will go to seek revenge on Hamlet and he replies saying he will slit his throat if he has to. Hamlet obvioiusly has the intent to kill but to me; doesn't seem like he has enough courage to actually go through with it. Yes he killed Polonius thinking it was Claudius, but when Claudius was in the confession room Hamlet didn't kill when he had the oppurtunity. So it makes me question Hamlets courage.

Leigh J said...

Laertes has come back to a dead father and then his insane sister dies. He obviously has gone through a lot. While we can connect his want for revenge to Hamlet, there is also a huge difference. Hamlet was told by a ghost that his uncle killed his father. Laertes does not need a ghost to tell him to act in revenge. This can tell us a few things. First-perhaps Hamlet really is insane. If he can really act on what he was told by a ghost perhaps there are bigger problems. Perhaps Hamlet's insanity is real. For Laertes it tells us that he does not need any ghost to tell him to take revenge. He figures it out on his own and makes the decision really quickly. This tells us that he is is quick to make irrational decisions. As for Claudius' help to Laertes it shows that Claudius really doesn't feel any remorse for treating Hamlet (his "son") so poorly.

Soo.K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Soo.K said...

Although many characters share similar characteristics, Laertes and Hamlet are possibly the most alike. Like all the comments before, Laertes has resorted to revenge, which Hamlet had done also. The two characters act so quickly after hearing of their fathers' murders. They both decide (rather too quickly, as a matter of fact) to get revenge on their father's murderer. What is different about Hamlet and Laertes is that Laertes finds an ally to defeat Hamlet. He is much like his father who uses others for his advantage, although Claudius is using Laertes to get rid of Hamlet. But what surprised me about Laertes was that he doesn't seem to feel for his sister. He tends to leave her alone in her insanity and grief. Laertes is so consummed by revenge that he does not pay attention to his sister enough, just as Hamlet did.

DanielC said...

obviously Laertes can be associated with Hamlet because of the loneliness he his feeling when all his close family members die. like hamlet, he is letting his emotions take control of him and planning revenge on his fathers murderer. also, he makes this decision a lot quicker than hamlet and with out his fathers help(the ghost). laertes seems to have no characteristics of his own and is just living of the emotions of other characters in the story

MilendaN. said...

Eventhough Laertes is using a poison sword to kill Hamlet I know he is scared to battle him. Because he knows that Hamlet is unpredictable. I think the fact that Laertes has to use a sword with poison to kill Hamlet, makes him a weak character. Can't he fight like a man?..
Laertes has the same feelings as Hamlet (their close family member dies)after the whole act. But of course they both have a different mindset.! I think Laertes emmulates Hamlet too by being a strong individual but weak doesnt equal strong.(Hamlet=strong and Laertes=weak). I also think that Laertes & Claudius is intimadated by Hamlet. I mean they have to be. Why would Claudius send Hamlet far away if he wasn't afraid of him. And why would they even think of the poison sword in the first place if they knew Hamlet wasn't that strong?. And when Claudius asked Laertes on how far he will go to seek revenge on Hamlet and his response was that he will slit his throat if he has to? I think he's just saying that so that Claudius and others will think that he's strong when deep down he's really not!

MilendaN. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaket said...

So far we haven't heard to much about Laertes, but I think Laertes is a lot like Hamlet in that his father was murdered, He feels extremely lonely and no one seems to care about him. Laertes and Hamlet are almost like the same person. Actually there are a lot of characters in the play that go relatively unnoticed but Hamlet always seems to be the victim. I actually think that Laertes is more of a victim than Hamlet because of the fact that because of Hamlets selfless actions he causes Laertes to lose a sister and a father and he seems to have no regret. I'll be interested to see what happens between Hamlet and Laertes.

StevenD said...

I have found it so interesting how both of these characters are living and feeling similar qualities. I agree with alot of things that Courtney has said about Laertes being a character that we have not seen alot of him, but I feel as though we are now beginning to see him as a front runner and most important characters in the play; especially now that he might seek revenge on Hamlet. I find it funny that Hamlet planned a trick against the king, while the king and Laertes are planning somthing against Hamlet. This makes me wonder how much the king is doing to help himself over Laertes feelings. I am beginning to think that this last act is just going to be a big slaughter or something, because all the characters have retreated inside themselves for self defense, or so I think. I am wondering how Hamlet is going to feel once he hears about Ophelia's death.

I shall begin taking bets on who dies shortly... any bidders?

rebeccar said...

As everyone has said, Laertes does indeed display many characteristics similar to Hamlet’s when dealing with the deaths of their fathers. However, Hamlet’s initial reaction was not revenge. He grieved, mourned, and wept constantly for numerous hours. He felt alone and betrayed by everyone around him, because in reality, he was alone. It was only when the ghost of his dead father appeared that he started having feelings of revenge. Sure he did not know who the murderer was before this experience, but it did not even cross his mind to try to determine the real cause of the King’s death. Laertes, on the other hand, immediately sided with people including Claudius in getting revenge on Hamlet. He did not even go through the mourning stage; he went straight to anger and the desire for revenge. This is interesting because Laertes lost BOTH his father and his sister. This makes one wonder how much they really meant to him. Does he just want revenge because it is the “fair” thing to do? Or will it really make him feel better about his tragic losses?

I agree with Courtney’s observation that Laertes is like a sponge. He is just another character that is constantly being manipulated and altered based on what Claudius wants. Hamlet is the only character so far who is somewhat independent and self-aware (although he seems like the crazy one.)

ashleyb2008 said...

i believe that Laertes and hamlet have alot more in common than they are aware of, they are both reacting to something horrible that has happened to their fathers, if only they took the time to understand one another, they may agree with each other and maybe be friends as well as help each other. Either way it goes both mens fathers get killed because of claudius.

Kyle B. said...

I think that Laertes is being used over and over again. He has lost all willpower, not only due to the loss of his father and sister, but Claudius has begun pulling all the strings to reach his own ends. Laertes should be expected to feel this way, but he should not act as such. Hamlet and Laertes are quite similar. THey have both had a father violently taken from them and they have both lost everything that they would hold as dear.

ryan f said...

I agree with everyone who finds similarities between Hamlet and Laertes reaction to their father’s deaths. But I agree with Rebecca in that Hamlet's reaction was not revenge, until he had seen his father's ghost. Hamlet, at first went through the typical reactions of anyone grieving over the loss of a loved one. Hamlet sought his revenge after being told to do so, where as Laertes immediately began to find allies.

I think that both the reactions out of the characters show how much psychological damage has been caused to both of them. Laertes just seemed to bypass the grieving stage and go straight to insanity, which could lead the reader to believe that Hamlet could be the only one in the text who truly has emotions and feelings, not reactions based on events in the past.

Sean N said...

Obviously he can be compared to Hamlet because both of these characters want revenge for the death of their fathers. Laertes portrays the same characteristics as most of the male characters in Hamlet. He is brave and outgoing; He's the perfect son. He wants justice no matter what the consequences are. Laertes says he is willing to cut Hamlets throat in a church. It is interesting how Laertes changes after his encounter with Claudius. Claudius is very different from the other male characters. He isn't interested in justice or the moral path. After talking with Claudius, Laertes suggests that he poison the tip of his sword. This is a very cunning and Claudius-like thing to do. Laertes morals seem to have been corrupted by Claudius.

ryanb said...

Laertes' outcome is very similar to that of Hamlet's because of the death of his father. Laertes however knows right away that it was Hamlet that killed Polonius and Laertes becomes agressive towards Hamlet whereas Hamlet was cautious and careful before commiting to charge in and kill Claudius. I do think that both Hamlet and Laertes are both very angry at the death of their fathers and both of them want revenge, but their two different personalities distinctly separate these two characters. The other thing is that Hamlet goes about seeking revenge on his own. This allows him to decieve and trick people while Laertes uses Claudius to help him on his quest for revenge.

JoeR said...

I love how Shakespeare has paralleled Laertes to Hamlet and to Fortinbras. We must not forget Fortinbras too has lost his father. I feel that Laertes will be able to seek revenge unlike Hamlet. Hamlet is the tragic hero who can't commit himself to anything which is going to hurt him in the future. Shakespeare wouldn't add a minor character to the plot to take a way from the tragic hero, so I believe that Laertes will be able to seek revenge on Hamlet. I feel that Laertes is very upset and is going to be willing to do anything possible to seek revenge. Laertes, Hamlet, and Fortinbras have lost loved ones and all seem ready to seek revenge of the murderers.

emilyl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
emilyl said...

Laertes is now joining the ranks of sons who do stupid things to avenge their fathers. I think it is kind of sad that Laertes is probably going to fall into the same pit that Hamlet has. I really like how everyone is getting so twisted up into revenge. I can definitely see everyone dying because there are so many webs of lies, deceit, trickery, and plotting that there is only a small chance that everyone can get away with it. Another similarity between Laertes and Hamlet is that they have also both lost the importnant female in their life (Hamlet- Gertrude, Laertes- Ophelia). I think that Laertes is a little more mature than Hamlet so hopefully he will see sense in the end. Plus, I don't think Laertes actually cared for his father as much as we might think. He was bored by his father and his tedious lectures. Once the initial anger wears off, he will probably see that Claudius is evil and will talk to Hamlet, and maybe side with him once he knows what really happened (if Hamlet is sane enough to tell him).