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Word Count: 1,256
Though seeming to simply be a minor character Laertes is of great importancein the play Hamlet and much more than one would initially believe dueto his extensive inner conflict He is good loyal and honourable seemingto possess the greatest virtue of all the characters yet he still is doomedto die along with the other characters precisely because of his greatvirtue As Scene Two begins in the first lines which Laertesspeaks in the play he requests that King Claudius allow him to return tohis duties in France This is important from the viewpoint that it demonstrateshis dislike for the King and his wish to be away from the questionablecircumstances of his marriage and subsequent ascension to the throne a wisedecision and an attempt to remain apart and above the world as the Greeksuperman is seen to gain immortality by doing though Laertesdoes have personal feelings in the matter unlike the true Stoic thus hisattempt is a failure though a noble one As Scene Three begins Laertes is speaking with his sisterOphelia about her relationship with Hamlet and warning her to Weighwhat loss your honour may sustain If with too credent ear you list hissongs 1329 else she lose her virtue to Prince Hamlet Thisexemplifies his loyalty and love for his family and especially his sisterthough she replies to his warnings and advice with the sarcastic reply todo not Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven Whilst likea puffed and reckless libertine Himself the primrose path of dalliancetreads And recks not his own rede 1347 Following this Opheliaand Laertes father Polonius enters and Laertes departs with afinal warning to Ophelia Soon after Laertes departs Polonius meets with Reynaldoand instructs him to bring money for Laertes but first to spy on him andto make sure that he stays out of trouble It seems that it would be difficultfor Laertes to not know of this messengers second duty as spy asit is mentioned in the text You
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