Essay Sample on Fortinbras Character in Hamlet

Published: 2023-03-07
Essay Sample on Fortinbras Character in Hamlet
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  English literature Shakespeare Character analysis Hamlet
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 614 words
6 min read


Hamlet is a play written about the leadership struggles in Denmark and Norway where the Norwegian king dies during war. Shortly after Hamlet, the king of Denmark is murdered by his brother, who inherits his wife and his throne. Two months later Fortinbras is planning war against Denmark to attain the throne he believed to be rightfully his. At the same time, prince Hamlet learns about the death of his father, and he is disgusted by the marriage of his mother Queen Getrude and his uncle King Claudius.

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Fortinbras the Prince

Before the death of King Hamlet, he murders Norwegian king Fortinbras and unites Denmark and Norway. King Fortinbras leaves behind a son, Prince Fortinbras, who plan to avenge his death and retake the throne. Unlike Hamlet, who learns about his father's death through friends and ghosts, Fortinbras knew his father died during the war, and he planned another war to recover what they had lost.

Planned Attack

Prince Fortinbras readies his army and marches towards his enemy's territories. He starts by invading Poland. After Poland, his next target is Denmark, where he plans to attack and overthrow the king for the throne, which he believes was his father's. He is not aware of the internal conflict present in Denmark. Just before he attacks Denmark, he receives a message from King Claudius requesting him not to proceed with the attack against Denmark.

Wrangles in Denmark

In Denmark, prince Hamlet learns that Claudius had a role in his father's death from a ghost. He is not sure about that information; therefore, he suggests a play where the king falls asleep, and poison is poured into his ears, leading into instant death. This is supposed to confirm if Claudius had a role in King Hamlet's death and also to let him know that he, knew about it. When prince Hamlet confirmed that he hated his uncle and detested his mother for marrying him so quickly, he plans to seek revenge against King Claudius, and this is the reason why Claudius asked Fortinbras not to attack. Fortinbras does not allow himself to act out of emotions, and therefore he heeds to Claudius's call and halts the attack.

Fortinbras and Hamlet

Fortinbras and Hamlet were the princes of Norway and Denmark respectively. Each prince was seeking to avenge the death of his father. They both believed that they were the rightful heirs to the throne and sort to retrieve what they had lost. The two use different strategies to achieve their missions. Hamlet goes out to seek the truth, and he even acts mad at some point. He manages to avenge his father's death but later dies of food poisoning. On the other hand, Fortinbras gathers an army and plans an attack. He conquers Poland and becomes the king. When asked by King Claudius not to attack Denmark, he listens, but he does not abandon his plan. Later on, he takes over the kingdom alongside English ambassadors.

End of Hamlet

King Claudius felt threatened by prince Hamlet and planned for him to be poisoned. His mother Queen Getrude learns about the plan, and she drinks the poison instead, and she dies. Claudius hatches another plan to kill prince Hamlet through a poisoned arrow. The arrow gets to Hamlet, but he also manages to kill Claudius in the process. The throne of Denmark is thereby left vacant. As the two bodies lay there, Fortinbras arrives and Horatio, a sworn confidant to Hamlet, narrates the schemes and the deaths. He is saddened by the death of Hamlet, and he gives him an honourable burial. "With sorrow, I embrace my fortune." He says and takes over the throne of Denmark.

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