Fortinbras Deceit in Hamlet

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About this sample


Words: 553 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 13, 2024

Words: 553|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Fortinbras Deceit In Hamlet
  2. Deception and Manipulation
  3. Conclusion

Fortinbras Deceit In Hamlet

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a play that is rich in complex characters and intricate plot lines. One character who often gets overlooked in discussions of the play is Fortinbras, the Prince of Norway. While Fortinbras may not have as much stage time as other characters, his actions and motivations are crucial to the development of the plot. In this essay, we will explore the theme of deceit as it pertains to Fortinbras in Hamlet, examining how his deceitful actions contribute to the overall narrative and impact the main character, Hamlet.

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Deception and Manipulation

One of the key aspects of Fortinbras’ character in Hamlet is his use of deception and manipulation to achieve his goals. From the outset, Fortinbras is presented as a cunning and ambitious character who is willing to do whatever it takes to attain power. Through his deceitful actions, Fortinbras is able to manipulate those around him, including Hamlet, and ultimately further his own agenda.

Fortinbras’ deceit is evident in his interactions with Hamlet throughout the play. In Act 1, Scene 2, Fortinbras sends a letter to Claudius, the King of Denmark, requesting permission to pass through Denmark in order to invade Poland. This seemingly innocuous request is a calculated move on Fortinbras’ part, as it allows him to position himself strategically for his ultimate goal of conquering Denmark. By presenting himself as a harmless and passive prince, Fortinbras is able to deceive Claudius and the rest of the Danish court, creating a false sense of security that ultimately plays into his hands.

Fortinbras’ manipulation of Hamlet is also a significant aspect of his deceitful actions. Throughout the play, Fortinbras uses Hamlet as a means to an end, exploiting his personal vendetta against Claudius to further his own political ambitions. This manipulation is evident in Act 4, Scene 4, when Fortinbras encounters Hamlet on his way to England. Fortinbras takes advantage of Hamlet’s vulnerable state, convincing him to abandon his mission to England and return to Denmark to seek revenge on Claudius. In doing so, Fortinbras is able to divert Hamlet’s attention away from his own plans, effectively using him as a pawn in his larger scheme.

The implications of Fortinbras’ deceitful actions are significant, not only for the characters within the play, but also for the overall narrative. By examining Fortinbras’ manipulation and deceit, we can gain a deeper understanding of the complex web of alliances and betrayals that drive the plot of Hamlet. Furthermore, Fortinbras’ actions serve as a commentary on the nature of power and ambition, highlighting the lengths to which individuals will go to achieve their goals, regardless of the consequences for others.

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In conclusion, Fortinbras’ deceit in Hamlet is a crucial element of the play’s narrative, shedding light on the complex motivations and actions of the characters. Through his manipulation and deception, Fortinbras is able to further his own ambitions at the expense of others, including the main character, Hamlet. By examining Fortinbras’ deceitful actions, we can gain a deeper understanding of the themes of power and ambition that permeate the play, as well as the impact of deception on the lives of the characters. Ultimately, Fortinbras’ deceit serves as a reminder of the moral complexities and ethical dilemmas that arise in the pursuit of power, making him a compelling and enigmatic figure in the world of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Fortinbras Deceit In Hamlet. (2024, March 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“Fortinbras Deceit In Hamlet.” GradesFixer, 13 Mar. 2024,
Fortinbras Deceit In Hamlet. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jul. 2024].
Fortinbras Deceit In Hamlet [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 13 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:
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