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Word Count: 1,153
Foils A character that might parallel yet contrast another is said to be a foil A foil is used to clarify character traits as well as issues in stories and plays An example of this would be Iago and Othello from the Shakespeare play Othello Othello is a trustworthy and upstanding individual who has a slight problem as far as spontaneity is concerned Iago on the other hand is deceptive and manipulative but Iago thinks things out thoroughly Shakespeare uses these two characters against each other to further bring out their good and bad traits This idea of a foil seems to be a recurring tool that Shakespeare uses in his plays Shakespeare clarifies character traits in Hamlet by the use of foils One of the best examples of foils in the play is Hamlet against Laertes At the beginning of the play we all know that Hamlets father was killed He has this trait in common with Laertes later on in the play when his father Polonius is killed by Hamlet At this point both me are seeking vengeance for a fathers death This shows perhaps Hamlets fatal or tragic flaw Hamlet hesitates at every opportunity he has to kill Claudius with Laertes is willing to seek vengeance immediately Laertes says How came he dead Ill jot be juggled with To hell allegiance Vows to the blackest devil Conscience and grace to the profoundest pit That both the worlds I give to negligence Let come what comes only Ill be revenged Most thoroughly for my father At this point we really see that Laertes is ready to die and that he does not care about what will happen to him in the next life Hamlet is plagued by this idea of what will happen next and thus cannot fulfill his task Another thing these two men have in common is Ophelia Both men love her only in different ways
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