Hamlet Character Foils
A Character Foils is… • A character who provides a direct contrast to another character, and by doing so illuminates the traits of the other character. • Examples in popular culture: • Agent J (Will Smith’s character) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones’ character)in Men in Black • Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in Star Wars • Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy • Mercutio and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet
Character Foils in Hamlet • Which of these characters are foils to Prince Hamlet and why? • A) Prince Fortinbras • B) Laertes • C) Ophelia
They All Are! • Fortinbras is a clear foil since, like Hamlet, his father was killed and his uncle became King; he also bears his father’s name like Prince Hamlet. He stands in contrast because he, unlike Hamlet, is quick to take action and seek revenge. • Laertes is also a foil since he too loses a father and seeks immediate revenge. • And Ophelia is also a foil since she does actually go mad, which is contrast to Hamlet’s feigned madness.
Paragraph Frame In Hamlet, Shakespeare introduces character foils in order to ___________. One example of a character foil, Prince Fortinbras, standsin sharp contrast because ___________.Hamlet illustrates their differences in his soliloquy in Act IV when he states, “_________” ( ). From these lines the reader can conclude that, unlike Hamlet, Fortinbras ________. A second character foil to Hamlet is _________, who, in contrast to Hamlet, ______, as demonstrated by “_________” ( ). The importance of this foil is _________. These two foils truly help the audience to understand _________.
Frame Sentence • In Hamlet, Shakespeare introduces character foils to illustrate the character development of Prince Hamlet. The character of Prince Fortinbras is in sharp contrast with Hamlet, and therefore acts as a foil to Hamlet. Shakespeare presents this foil to illustrate __________________. Hamlet witnesses some troops marching towards Poland and in a soliloquy states, “_______________________” ( ). From these lines we the audience can conclude ____________________. Another character foil to Hamlet that Shakespeare presents is ___________________. When ___________________ realizes ________________ he is quick to action and states “______________________” ( ). Based on these two characters, Fortinbras and _____________, there actions are in contrast to those of Hamlet particularly when it comes to _____________________.