Emperor Of Ice Cream And Hamlet Comparison Essay

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William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Stevens’ “The Emperor of Ice Cream” all successfully comment on the nature of death, while differing in their discussion of character development, language, and motifs. The first text, As I Lay Dying, deals with how the Bundren family reacts to the death of the female family head, Addie Bundren. The second text, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, focuses on how the protagonist of the play, Hamlet, deals with the death of his father and his uncle’s usurpation of the throne. Finally, the poem, “The Emperor of Ice Cream”, describes a wake and what is going on surrounding the casket, including people’s reactions to the event. These similar focuses of death help to unveil the profounder meaning of each text, which are revealed by the discussion of action vs. inaction, the role of women, and the process of moving on after a death.
Both As I Lay Dying and Hamlet similarly
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Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, takes Wallace Steven’s advice in “The Emperor of Ice Cream” when she moved on from her husband within 2 months. Stevens urged the reader throughout his poem to not focus too much on death, and to move on to the present. This theme is shown by Stevens’s words “Let the lamp affix its beam. The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.”. Similarly, in As I Lay Dying, Addie’s death could have brought her family together to complete the task of bringing her body to Jefferson. In this way, this task distracted them from focusing solely on the death. While each member of the Bundren family already had their own issues to focus on (Anse had his new teeth to keep him going, Dewey Dell was focused on her unmarried pregnancy), the moving of Addie’s coffin to Jefferson caused a distraction from her death, the same kind of distraction Stevens urged readers to find after a

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