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Fortinbras is one of the minor characters of the play Hamlet. He is the nephew to the King of Norway. He also contributes to the development of the action of the play. He is a vivid contrast to Hamlet. He plays as a foil to Hamlet. Now we will discuss the character and role of Fortinbras in the play, Hamlet.

Fortinbras is an ambitious man. He is not only contrast to Hamlet but also Horatio. In this play he appears as a man of action. He is not happy. He engages in war. He is obedient to his sick uncle, the King of Norway. 

During the play Hamlet and Fortinbras never meet. We find him in Act I, Scene I. he arrives at Danish court just after Hamlet's death in the last scene. Witnessing Fortinbras's troops preparing to fight for a cause which, to Hamlet, seems of so little concern, inspires the Denish Prince to renew his efforts to seek revenge on Claudious for a cause which of comparatively greater importance.

We learn early in the play that he has a plan to invade Denmark in order to regain some territory which had been lost to Denmark by his late father. Horatio describes Fortinbras as a young man "of unimproved mettle hot and full". However, Fortinbras abandons this plan under the instructions of his old uncle to whom Claudius has sent a message of peace and friendliness. This gesture of Fortinbras in obeying his uncle's wish raises him in our estimation.

To sum up, we can say that Fortinbras is an important character in this play. His role and function is very noteworthy. He stands in contrast with Hamlet and becomes a foil.


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