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Essay On Guilt In Fifth Business And Hamlet

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Guilt in Fifth Business and Hamlet Guilt alters one’s sense of self, paralyzing them to any other emotion, slowly deteriorating their minds. In the novel Fifth Business by Robertson Davies and in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, significant characters are controlled by their guilt for similar reasons. No matter the cause, it makes them feel responsible for someone else’s suffering, motivates them to commit acts as an attempt to escape, and suffer in the end as they are always brought to their inevitable fate. These characters include Paul Dempster and Hamlet as they both experience guilt because of their parents, Leola Cruikshank and Ophelia as they have guilt in the relationships they are in, and Boy Staunton and Claudius because they both deny their wrongful deeds, but their guilt is tragically revealed throughout their lives. Paul Dempster is overpowered by guilt because of his mother Mary Dempster’s madness, as he feels that his premature birth is the cause. As a child of a woman who has an affair with a tramp, Paul gets bullied at school, ruining his self-esteem, and making him embarrassed of his own mother. He also has no support from his father, Amasa Dempster, as …show more content…

His main goal is to ensure Hamlet’s death, which is motivated by his guilt. He writes a letter to the King of England saying to execute him, which fails. He then persuades Laertes to duel with Hamlet by feeding him lies. However, guilt brings out the truth in people, and Laertes confesses during battle the truth about Claudius and his plan. Hamlet furiously stabs Claudius to death. Although he accepts his crime along with his guilt, his actions do not do him justice. Hence in the end he gets what is much overdue, death. Although Boy kills himself, his demise occurs because of his flawed actions. What each of these individuals give in their life is reciprocated and in the end, they meet their inevitable

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