Friday, October 29, 2010
For those of you not in attendance on Friday please pay attention. A foil, pronounced like aluminum foil, is a character who contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist) in order to highlight various features of that other character's personality, throwing certain characteristics into sharper contrast or focus. A foil serves to stress and highlight the distinctive temperament of the protagonist.
HERE IS ANOTHER DEFINITION:
A foil is a secondary character who contrasts with a major character; in Hamlet, Fortinbras and Laertes, whose fathers have been killed, are foils for Hamlet. As we have observed in class, Shakespeare employs Fortinbras four times in the play as a foil to Hamlet. And Laertes, a man of precipitous action, also serves as a foil to the dilatory Hamlet on multiple planes.