(Hamlet) Laertes

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 27-05-19 08:55
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  • Laertes
    • As a sinner
      • 'To cut his throat i'th'church'
        • Hamlet hesitated to kill Claudius in prayer
          • Critics found Hamlet's thoughts bloody, yet Laertes' actions are worse
          • Hyppolyte Taine: 'the story of moral poisoning'
        • Machiavellian- 'The Prince' in 1532 (one had to be 'ruthless' to be the best ruler)
      • 'sick at heart'/'that I might be the organ'
        • Claudius presents the 'body' of the state (leads others to corruption)
          • Time of uncertainty as Elizabeth was old and hadn't named her successor
        • Opportunities for direct anatomical dissection were restricted during the Renaissance
          • Shakespeare possibly disagreed with the monopoly on knowledge (totalitarian)
        • Corruption is a disease of the body
    • As a victim
      • Hyperbole: 'fall ten times treble on that cursed head'
        • Identifies as Malcontent (like Hamlet) - cycle of grief & revenge
          • O'Toole: 'Death is the picture, not he frame'
        • Presents a reflection of Hamlet (play acts as a mirror for Hamlet)
      • 'almost against my conscience'/'not near'
        • Laertes is more virtuous than Claudius
      • 'the king, the king's to blame'
        • No other character in this play is entirely responsible
        • Repetition emphasises the source of corruption
    • As ignorant
      • 'from her fair and unpolluted flesh may violets spring'
        • 'a violet in the youth of primy nature'
          • Symbol of humility & faithfulness
            • Ophelia stayed blindly faithful leading to her downfall
              • Laertes' ignorance about Claudius will lead to his death
            • Barker: 'dullard glutted by his own grief'
        • Perceives Ophelia to be the innocent subject of corruptive forces
        • 'withered all when my father died'
          • Shakespeare presents the cycle of corruption which begins with death


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