Shakespeare's Great Heros Essay

1104 words - 5 pages

In Shakespeare’s works, characters such as Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras take the heroic journey to bring back the natural balance of their kingdoms. Although many heroes many not live until the end, “The point is, not how long you live, but how nobly you live” as said by Seneca the Younger. In his play, Shakespeare shows realistic portrayals of what a true masculine hero would do. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the male archetype is portrayed as a hero through Hamlet’s, Laertes’, and Fortinbras’ actions.

Hamlet, the prince of Denmark went on a quest to bring honour to his father’s death, brought justice to his kingdom, and killed Claudius who was the villain. Hamlet was visited ...view middle of the document...

Beagle in The last Unicorn, “Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed”. Without Hamlet’s unfortunate events, no one would have ever known of Claudius’ true evil intentions.

Laertes was a heroic character much like Hamlet because Laertes wanted to avenge his father’s death, avenge his sister’s death, and to follow his heart. After Hamlet unintentionally killed Polonius the Lord Chamberlin of Claudius’ court, his son, Laertes set out to avenge his father’s death. Laertes was filled with rage from his father’s sudden death and refused to stop at nothing to get revenge. “Let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged most thoroughly for my father.” (IV, v, 109). Laertes must also avenge his sister Ophelia’s death whom he loved very much after Laertes said “Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense deprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile till I have caught her once more in mine arms.” (v, I, 225). Laertes attempted to avenge his father’s and sister Ophelia’s death by making a plan to murder Hamlet for his wrong doings. Laertes’ bravery and boldness showed how heroic he was, and went out of his way to fulfill his duties and follow his heart. Besides these violent acts Laertes was noble enough to admit his plan to kill Hamlet had backfired. “The foul practice hath turned itself on me. lo, here I lie, never to rise again. Thy mother’s poisoned. I can no more. The king, the king’s to blame.” (v, III, 312). Most characters do not want to admit their wrong doings, but Laertes was man enough to accept the situation. Laertes followed his heart to what he thought was right in order to bring peace to his loved ones and that is what made him a great hero.

Fortinbras the young prince of Norway showed the male archetype of a hero by wanting to avenge his father, reclaiming lost territories, and fighting for his family’s honour such as Laertes and Hamlet did. Fortinbras wanted to avenge his father’s death who was killed by Hamlet Senior, unlike Hamlet and Laertes, Fortinbras decided to take immediate action. As Claudius says “He hath not failed to pester...

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