Hamlet And Ordinary People: A Literary Analysis

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A Search for Stability Does the era in which a play or book was written really matter? Nowadays, many students and even adults, argue that there is no benefit behind studying publications dating back to the mid-1500s, because life during the time they were written, is nothing as they know it. However, if life was so different at the time the pieces were different, then what make pieces such as Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet so popular? The reason why certain pieces continue to be popular and so frequently studied, hundreds of years after they were written, is due to the presence of timeless themes that carry over centuries. Two excellent examples of literary pieces that share many themes in common as well as a time difference of almost 600 years…show more content…
It is similarly presented within the two works because as the plot progresses, both Hamlet and Conrad, come to the conclusion that fate will always overpower free will. In Hamlet, through struggling with trying to create a plan to avenge his father’s death, Hamlet realizes that he must leave everything up to fate if he wishes to be successful. For example, when Hamlet kills Polonius, he says, “Take thy fortune. / Thou find’st to be too buy is some danger.” (Shakespeare, III, IV, 34-35). Through this quote, the audience is able to see that by Hamlet relying on fate and fortune, he was able to kill Polonius and should he continue to let fate take control, he would eventually avenge his father’s death. Likewise, in Ordinary People, after Conrad had blamed himself for letting his brother die for over a year, Conrad realizes that Buck’s drowning was not his fault. Conrad says, “And so he had been…Not since the summer before last and an unexpected July storm on Lake Michigan…It is chance and not perfection that rules the world.” (Guest 90). Conrad’s statement is extremely important because here he realizes that it didn’t matter how amazing of a person he was, he had no control over what happened on the lake and there was nothing he could do to prevent it. He accepts that he wasn’t responsible for his brother’s death, fate was. In contrast, the themes are presented differently because, in Hamlet, hamlet had faith in his fate right from the beginning and he was willing to follow his fate. When he says, “My fate cries out, / And makes each petty artery in this body / As hardy as the Nemean lion’s nerve.” (Shakespeare, I, IV, 81-83), the audience can see that hamlet does indeed believe that his fate will assist him in his endeavours and he sees it as the flashlight to his darkness. Meanwhile, in
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