Contrast Between Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras
7, 65-69). Both Laertes and Hamlet grieve deeply for their fathers, but Laertes acts upon this grief while Hamlet carefully plots his revenge and waits for the perfect timing to avenge King Hamlet. Laertes' unplanned actions caused his death by his own sword.
Fortinbras acts the most rationally out of the three. After learning that the late King Hamlet was responsible for his father's death, he does not act irrationally like Laertes or become a coward like Hamlet. He takes the time to establish an army and seek revenge upon the country of Denmark. He does not act out in temporary madness like Laertes and Hamlet, but stops to develop a plan and realizes the rewards of a victory and consequences of a loss. Fortinbras' plan also turned out to be effective. He carried out his plan under the law without the risk of his soul being damned to hell. Even Hamlet saw him as a man of rationale and a good leader as he offered the crown of Denmark upon him before his death.
Hamlet realized his lack of action and contrasted himself to Fortinbras in his "What is a man"(Act 4 Sc.4, 35®) soliloquy and labels Fortinbras as a man of action and labels himself as a procrastinator whose words lead to no action. Hamlet calls him "a tender prince"(51) after speaking with a