The Elder Fortinbrasse was a man killed by King Hamlet, in a single combat, years before the play begins. He was the father of young Fortinbrasse, who does appear in the play.
The Elder Fortinbrasse was not the King of Norway. That all-too-common notion is not supported by the play. He was the King's brother, and was a nobleman of high rank, probably a Duke. His domain included Elsinore Castle.
Well, none. He makes no appearance in the play because he's dead. His "role" is only as part of the background material, to lead to the onstage events.
Themes and Motifs
Most immediate for the Elder Fortinbrasse:
The Elder Fortinbrasse is mentioned by Horatio in Scene 1.
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