In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet discloses his true feelings, in Act 4, scene 4. In this soliloquy, Hamlet illustrates his mental instability by contrasting himself and Fortinbras. He illustrates himself as being a coward who does not has the will to initiate plans to revenge his father’s death. Hamlet finds himself grasping for an answer as whether to kill his uncle who has done his family and great injustice by killing his father and sleeping with the mother. This outrages Hamlet and creates an inner struggle and it is in this stage where Hamlet idealizes Fortinbras in his words and actions. In Hamlet’s soliloquy, He contrasts the differences between Fortinbras and himself, and implying his desire to be more like Fortinbras in action. Hamlet admires Fortinbras for the mere fact that he is the head of state and he is control of a powerful army, while Hamlet can barely control himself.
Fortinbras holds a position that Hamlet was destined for, yet Claudius intervened and took Hamlet’s rightful position. This fact may imply that Hamlet sees his father’s actions personified in Fortinbras. Although Hamlet seems to admire the dominance and will power that Fortinbras displays, he also criticizes him and his unattainable dream. ” The imminent death of twenty thousand men that for fantasy and trick of fame.” In this statement Hamlet is declaring that he thinks Fortinbras quest is meaningless and therefore deems it foolish. He is also compromising Fortinbras basic ability to reason.
Throughout the play, Hamlets wishes that he could take actions and avenge his father’s death, but in this soliloquy he also states that he believes Fortinbras reasoning to be skewed. He believes that the actions of Fortinbras are incredibly simplistic and thus feels superior in this manner. Hamlet admires those who ca use their intelligence to its capacity and then act upon it, yet he sees those actions of Fortinbras as primal urges to survive. While he ridicules Fortinbras for the lack of judgement he also realizes that by his power to reason stems his suffering. Hamlet is tormented by the fact that he completely takes into account all aspects of the situation before acting upon his urge to avenge his father’s death. This is why he believes that he cannot go through with the murder of his uncle, Claudius.
As many other soliloquies do, this soliloquy portrays Hamlet as the coward who cannot act for the revenge of his father and his family honor. Though his convictions against Claudius and his misdeeds towards his family are vented through irate outbursts and seem to be firmly rooted, there still is a battle within Hamlet. This self-devaluation of opinion continues throughout the play and eventually leads to his mother’s death. It is only at this moment where Hamlet has no inner struggle and sees the actions that he must take to bring inner peace. Even when Hamlet had an opportunity to kill Claudius while he is praying he suppresses his rage with an excuse that he wishes for Claudius to acknowledge his wrongdoing. Fortinbras is a catalyst of this play and that is illustrated through Hamlet’s soliloquy.
Hamlet sees his decisive actions and comes to believe that the situation with Claudius must be terminated immediately. I believe that without the ever present Fortinbras Hamlet would have mulled over his decision and taken no action at all. Fortinbras influenced Hamlet in his decision that Claudius must be taken care of immediately no matter what the cost.