A Comparison Of Madness In Hamlet And In Cold Blood

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Hamlet is arguably the most revered and re-enacted of Shakespeare's plays. In Cold Blood is commonly recognized not only as an American tragedy but also as a human tragedy, the malevolent as well as the uncanny nature of human existence is beautifully portrayed in the novel. Both the play and the novel are successful because of the universal themes they portray, including revenge, deception and madness. Hamlet and In Cold Blood show how revenge, deception and madness can be all-consuming and will inevitably be destructive (Teaching Companion, 2010). The works of William Shakespeare and Truman Capote as described in Hamlet and In Cold Blood are similar and, at the same time, differ in how revenge, deception and madness can be all-consuming…show more content…
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,-/ O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power / So to seduce! - won to his shameful lust” (Act I, Scene v, 42-45) The King is in such a rage that he demands his son, Hamlet, "bear it not” without thinking of the consequences (I, v, 83). Even in his anger, Hamlet is aware of the trouble his father's anger will cause; "The time is out of joint: O cursed spite – That ever I was born to set it right" (I, v, 190). This revenge led to the tragedy in the play. This proves the fact that revenge always has disastrous consequences. In "In Cold Blood," at the heart of the story lies the clash of two Americas, entwined in a tight deathly embrace, Capote sets out to describe the two faces of the conflict - the Clutters and “the others”- extruding dark tones from either party (Olsza, 2009). Capote described how self-deception and revenge can lead to tragedy as follows: “The Clutters were such a perfect set of symbols for every frustration in his [Perry Smith’s] life. As Perry himself said, ‘I didn’t have anything against them, and they never did anything wrong to me - the way other people have all my life. Maybe they’re just the ones who had to pay for…show more content…
His self-deception and revenge led to the eventual tragedy in the novel proving that deception and revenge can lead to frustration and vicious behaviour with disastrous consequences. The King's anger, Hamlet's ensuing instability and Perry Smith’s psychopathic tendencies and thinking prove the disastrous consequences of deception revenge. For centuries we have read of feuds within families and between countries. It seems that once revenge becomes a factor, anger becomes paramount and the human logic becomes ineffective. In the play "Hamlet" Shakespeare teaches us a valuable lesson; namely, not to allow revenge to overcome us (Teaching Companion,
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