Hamlet and Leartes have many similarities and differences throughout the play. An example of this is that Laertes and Hamlet both display impulsive reactions when angered. For example, once Laertes discovers his father has been murdered Laertes immediately assumes the slayer is Claudius. As a result of Laertes?s speculation he instinctively moves to avenge Polonius?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 worlds I give to negligence, let come what comes; only I?ll be revenged most thoroughly for my father.” Act 4 Scene 5 lines 128-134 provide insight into Laertes?s mind displaying his desire for revenge at any cost. In contrast to Laertes speculation of his father?s killer, Hamlet presumes the individual spying on his conversation with Gertrude is Claudius. Consequently, Hamlet consumed with rage automatically thrusts out attempting to kill Claudius, but instead strikes Polonius. Hamlet?s and Laertes?s imprudent actions are incited by fury and frustration. Sudden anger prompts both Hamlet and Laertes to act spontaneously, giving little thought to the consequences of their actions.
Another example is that Hamlet and Laertes both share a different but deep love and concern for Ophelia. Before his departure for France Laertes provides lengthy advice to Ophelia pertaining to her relationship with Hamlet. Laertes voices his concern of Hamlet?s true intentions towards Ophelia and advises her to be wary of Hamlet?s love. Hamlet?s strong love for Ophelia withers after she rejects his affinity, which results in grave suffering for Hamlet. Once Laertes learns of the death of his sister, he is afflicted with sadness. In the same way, Hamlet is shocked and enraged over Ophelia?s demise. Both Hamlet and Laertes are so profoundly distressed at the death of Ophelia that they jump into her grave and fight each other. Hamlet was infatuated with Ophelia which was obvious during his constant anguish over her. Laertes shared a strong brotherly love for Ophelia which was evident in his advice to her as well as during her funeral were he fought with Hamlet.
Hamlet and Laertes exhibit domineering attitudes towards females. Laertes gives his sister Ophelia guidance on her relationship with Hamlet. In the same way, Hamlet is able to persuade Gertrude he is not mad and manipulate her to follow his instructions. Hamlet directs his mother to convince Claudius of Hamlet?s madness. Hamlet is able to make his mother reflect upon her part in the death of his father and feel guilt. Furthermore, Hamlet instructs his mother not to sleep with Claudius. The fathers of Laertes and Hamlet both attempted to use spies to gain information on their sons. Claudius employed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to gather information on Hamlet. In comparison, Polonius dispatches Reynaldo to check up on Laertes. All of this implies that Hamlet and Laertes share similar aspects within their families.
Hamlet and Laertes demonstrate rash behavior when infuriated. Hamlet becomes outraged at the notion of Claudius spying on him, which results in Hamlet mistakenly killing Polonius. Laertes becomes drastically angered at the death of his father and boldly seeks vengeance against Claudius. Although adversaries, Hamlet and Laertes share several characteristics which make them similar.