Hamlet: Amy Poehler and Hamlet Parallelism Essay

Submitted By Sharon-May
Words: 706
Pages: 3

Sharon May Nguyen
AP English Literature and Composition
30 November 2014
Parallelism has the power to create rhythm and balance in any work of literature. In
Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the playwright utilizes parallelism as a means to reveal a truth and a connection among his characters. Most of the main characters share a tragic flaw as they each neglect their own lives, and it ultimately leads to their own self­destruction. Hamlet, Fortinbras, and Laertes are all sons of dead fathers while Fortinbras and Laertes serve as foils to Hamlet as they highlight the differences among themselves and Hamlet. Claudius also serves as a foil to
Hamlet as the two are blatantly different from one another. Shakespeare’s use of parallelism as he portrays his character’s similar flaws along with his foils enrich his work as it gives us a deeper insight on the characters’ mindsets, thus revealing the characters’ underlying qualities. Most of the main characters of Hamlet have no regards or concerns for their own lives.
Their careless nature is shown through their impulsive and audacious actions. King Fortinbras and Fortinbras Jr. value land more than their own lives. “...exposing what is mortal and unsure to all that fortune, death, and danger dare, even for an eggshell, a little patch of ground that hath no profit in it but the name, that is not tomb enough and continent to hide the slain” (Act IV
Scene IV). They both are willing to risk their own lives fighting for land ,thus portraying the men’s mindsets of how obtaining a piece of land is more valuable and crucial than their own

lives. Polonius is always concerned with everyone else’s business but his own. Shakespeare ties this in with Polonius’s self­destruction as he is slain with a sword that was meant to be used to kill someone else. Laertes also has little regard and value for his own life as he is willing to go to hell for avenging his father’s death. “To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation. To this point I stand, That both the worlds I give to negligence, Let come what comes; only I'll be revenged. Most thoroughly for my father”
(Act IV Scene V). Instead of letting the past go and accepting what has already been done, he instead chooses to disregard his own existence to seek revenge for his father. His ultimate self­slaughter comes to a near during his battle against Hamlet; the two duel and Laertes wields himself with a poison­tipped sword. The two then accidentally exchange swords, and Laertes is then killed by his own sword. Both Laertes and Fortinbras play the roles as Hamlet’s foils as they serve as opposites of him. ”We