Character Analysis: Hamlet

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Again, even so self-obsessed a character as Hamlet finds an identification with all suffering men: In the absence of first person references in the “To be or not be” soliloquy, we hear counterpoised the common condition of those who “grunt and sweat under a weary life” rather than “fly to [the ills] we know not of” in death. Willy Loman seeks death to redeem his life, rather than confront his misguided dreams.Again, even so self-obsessed a character as Hamlet finds an identification with all suffering men: In the absence of first person references in the “To be or not be” soliloquy, we hear counterpoised the common condition of those who “grunt and sweat under a weary life” rather than “fly to [the ills] we know not of” in death. Willy Loman seeks death to redeem his life, rather than confront his misguided dreams.

fulfillment is what people live for, without it how can a person live? A failed search for self-fulfillment often leads to death. Demonstrated in A Tale of Two Cites, Hamlet, and A Death of a Salesman, each novel includes one character that struggles to fulfill his life, which results in death. Self-fulfillment can include being loved, wealthy, happiness, remembered, respected, or even a being hero. Sadly if none of these objectives is met, the character seems to think death is the only way option. "Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so" as said by Charles DeGaulle, relates to each character in the three novels that they were never determined to improve their life. The first example of failed self-fulfillment resulting in death is Willy Loman's from the novel A Death of a Salesman. Loman fails to be "well-liked" and also fails to provide for his family and decides that the only way to provide for them is to...... If we are to examine if Willy Loman, the protagonist of Miller's Death of a Salesman represents a tragic hero, we need to agree upon the definition of tragedy and heroes of it. If we look at the Aristotelian definition of tragedy, we feel that it neither fully explains nor even encompasses in many aspects the character of Willy Loman. In Aristotle's Poetics we read that tragedy is defined as 'an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions' (O'Brien and Dukore 1-2). When we look at the Germanic definition of the tragic hero we get a little closer to the character of Willy Loman, 'The Ger

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be nothing, but his inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity, his image of his rightful status. Only the passive, only those who accept their lot without active retaliation, are 'flawless.' Most of us are in that category' ('Tragedy' 2). We see that most of Willy Loman's frustration is engendered within him because he cannot accept his displaced lot without some form of active retaliation. Like Hamlet avenges the death of his father by killing Claudius, Willy avenges his wounded dignity and displaced status by committing suicide in order to circumvent the society he feels has wrongly put him into the position of not being able to pay for his insurance. As he says, he is worth more 'dead than alive'. Death of a Salesman also demonstrates the tragic hero as immersed in the terror and fear Miller argues comes from their illusions being shattered because of the degrading environment in which they find themselves. However, it is their determination to take action against the degradation of their rightful place that creates the terror and fear, makes them heroic and becomes tragic, 'there always have been those who act against the scheme of things that degrades...... . . .

Again, even so self-obsessed a...
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