Who Would Make A Better Leader: Hamlet or Fortinbras?
Often in literature, minor characters in a play can be essential in bringing the main characters to where the audience can better understand them. They also push or pull major characters into actions or decisions that affect the rest of the play. Plus they reveal the emotions and personalities of other characters because they give us someone to compare and contrast the characters with. In Hamlet, Fortinbras, the Norwegian Prince, would serve as the better leader of Denmark, compared to Hamlet because his quest for revenge consumes him, Hamlet’s mental instability, and procrastination.
Both, Hamlet and Fortinbras lost their fathers and have sworn to avenge their deaths; Fortinbras is a perfect parallel of Hamlet. He is very crucial to the play's ending and to bring a remedy to the corruption that has afflicted Denmark. Fortinbras father, King of Normandy, was killed during battle for control of "a little patch of ground"(Shakespeare, IV. iv.19). Fortinbras' uncle claims the throne of Norway just as Hamlet's uncle takes the throne of Denmark. The deaths of Hamlet Sr. and Fortinbras Sr. directly link the common destiny of Fortinbras to that of young Hamlet, to avenge the death of his father. It is because of this that the two young soldiers can be compared to each other. Fortinbras' taking action after his reasoning is contrasting to Hamlet's continual sidestepping towards revenge. Hamlet realizes this and contrasts himself to Fortinbras in his "How stand I then"(Shakespeare, IV. iv. 59) speech and labels Fortinbras as a man of action and labels himself as a man whose words lead to a man of thinking. Hamlet calls him "a tender prince"(Shakespeare, IV. iv. 51) after speaking with a captain in his army and hearing of Fortinbras' progress with his army. It inspires Hamlet and pushes him forward in carrying out his plan to avenge his father by murdering Claudius. Hamlet's lines about his thoughts being blood or nothing say that he has been won over by Fortinbras' idea and is ready to become a man of action who at any cost is ready to extract revenge. It can be said that Fortinbras is an energetic leader and soldier with clear intentions and determination from the way he clearly thinks things through and acts just as quickly to assemble men to attack Poland. Although Fortinbras says that Hamlet was a soldier by ordering captains to carry him out and to fire the cannons in his honor.
Every hero has a tragic flaw, and for Hamlet, it is his tendency to procrastinate. Hamlet’s procrastination is the reason he wouldn’t be a very good leader. To be a good leader, you would need to be focused on your country and the issues that you have, instead Hamlet would be focusing on unnecessary issues. Hamlet enters, speaking thoughtfully and agonizingly to himself about the question of whether to commit suicide to end the pain of experience. “To be, or not to be: that is the question” (Shakespeare, III.i.58). Hamlet also