Hamlet Fortinbras
by William Shakespeare

Fortinbras is the nephew of the king of Norway, and he provides a second foil to Hamlet in the play. Although we do not see Fortinbras until the final scene, we learn a great deal about him: like Hamlet, his father was once king and was murdered. Like Hamlet, Fortinbras is now under the rule of his uncle.

Unlike Hamlet, however, Fortinbras seems capable of channeling his desires for vengeance into fruitful action. Instead of becoming paralyzed by philosophical questions, Fortinbras raises an army and heads to Poland to begin reclaiming the lands lost in the battles that took his father’s life. Ultimately, Fortinbras’ revenge comes in being named king of Denmark on Hamlet’s death.

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