Hamlet vs. Laertes

How does Hamlet's family situation differ from Laertes'?

Act I, scene iii

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First of all we need to remember that Laertes was not part of the royal family. I know relations within the royal court tended to be pretty close to the tree, so to speak, but Laertes certainly wasn't in the running for a royal title. So right there, his family would be quite different. Aside from that Laertes didn't have a mother alive. He did have a sibling in Ophelia. Siblings for Hamlet are not mentioned. Hamlet had a father up until the time that he had that nasty poison poured down his ear. Hamlet was supposed to be the future king whereas Laertes would have remained a nobleman in court.