Laertes, a young nobleman

Polonius' son and Ophelia's brother

[This is an annotated list of all appearances and all mentions of Laertes.]

Nathaniel Parker as Laertes

Curt Masreliez as Laertes

Michael Maloney as Laertes
"My dread lord, / Your leave and favor to return to France" (1.2.50-51). Laertes asks the King's permission to return to France. [Scene Summary]

"My necessaries are embark'd: farewell: / And, sister . . . " (1.3.1-2) Laertes says goodbye to Ophelia and warns her against Hamlet; Polonius shows up and gives Laertes a lot of good advice. [Scene Summary]

"Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo" (2.1.1). Polonius sends Reynaldo to spy on Laertes. Polonius seems to be of two minds about his son. He suspects that he is "wild" and he wants Reynaldo to find Laertes' friends and say that he's heard certain things about Laertes, so that Reynaldo can see the friends' reactions. But Reynaldo is not supposed to say anything that would "dishonor" Laertes. Scene Summary

"My brother shall know of it" (4.5.70), says mad Ophelia after saying "I cannot choose but weep, to think they should lay him i' the cold ground," which probably refers to her father. A little later in the scene Laertes come bursting in, demanding revenge for his father's death. Then Ophelia returns, and Laertes mourns his sister's madness. Scene Summary

"Now must your conscience my acquittance seal, / And you must put me in your heart for friend" (4.7.1-2), says the King to Laertes, in the scene in which they plot the death of Hamlet. The King takes a great deal of trouble to get Laertes committed to the plot, and so this is the scene which tells us the most about Laertes' character. Scene Summary

"That is Laertes, a very noble youth" (5.1.224), says Hamlet to Horatio, as Ophelia's funeral procession enters. Moments later, Hamlet will become enraged with Laertes because he believes that Laertes' grief for Ophelia is melodramatic. Scene Summary

"I am very sorry, good Horatio, / That to Laertes I forgot myself; / For, by the image of my cause, I see / The portraiture of his: I'll court his favours" (5.2.75-78). Thus, in the last scene of the play, Hamlet speaks of the fact that both he and Laertes have lost their fathers. Later in the scene Hamlet more or less apologizes for the "wrong" that he has done Laertes, which is presumably killing Polonius, although Polonius is not mentioned. Hamlet explains that he only did it because he was "mad." Laertes replies, "I am satisfied in nature, / Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most / To my revenge: but in my terms of honour / I stand aloof" (5.2.244-247). Thus Laertes more or less accepts the apology. Then the fencing match begins, and Laertes can't find a way to touch Hamlet except by cheating. At the end, though, when he is dying, Laertes tells the truth about his plot, and lays the blame on the King. Scene Summary