A Tale Of Two "Princes" Essay

1411 words - 6 pages

No two human beings that have ever inhabited the earth were, are, or will ever be alike. Every individual possesses his or her own looks, qualities, morals, personality, and much more. Comparing two characters from arguably, two of the greatest stories ever written, is quite a feat to accomplish. One could already relate the two main protagonists of Hamlet and The Great Gatsby just by looking at the titles of the novels! Hamlet and Jay Gatsby are two characters, who can easily be overanalyzed without truly researching into their own stories and unveiling just who these two gentlemen are, for they are enigmas, and can be scrutinized into being more similar than one may think.
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Hamlet is a character of immense and noble wit. Right from the beginning of the play, Hamlet says to Gertrude, “I shall in all my best obey you, madam.”(line 120, p290.) Hamlet is completely and utterly disgusted with Claudius. He has no respect for him once he becomes king of Denmark after King Hamlet’s death. He does not have a large amount of respect for Gertrude after her marriage to Claudius so soon after the king’s death, but being the honorable and dignified person he is; Hamlet subdues some obedience to his mother. Once Hamlet learns of the truth behind his father’s death, he finds it challenging to even comprehend what he is to do next. His immediate action, “Haste me to know it, that I with wings as swift/ As meditation or the thoughts of love/ May sweep to my revenge” (lines 29-31, p295) reveals his immediate dedication to his deceased father. Hamlet is a character of desirable passion. When he has an aspiration, his entire mind, body, and soul, are exclusively committed to it.
Hamlet is a man quick to anger. As smart and cunning as he may be, he is just another human, who so easily falls into sin. When King Hamlet’s ghost appears to Hamlet and tells him the real tale behind his death, Hamlet immediately begins to blame others. He blames Gertrude and, obviously Claudius, “O most pernicious woman!/ O villain, villain, smiling damned villain!/ That one may smile, and smile and be a villain/ At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark” (line 105-109, p295.) Hamlet’s intuition to carry forth in avenging his father’s death, as he knows, pays a price on his entire life, from friendships and relationships to family affairs.
Hamlet’s decision to go mad on purpose, for example, destroys his relationship with Ophelia. In the end, it was one of his better decisions to let her go. He rudely tells her, “Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?” (lines 120-121, p305.) The entire scene reveals Hamlet’s acting of madness, and it forever turns Ophelia against him. Hamlet might have given Ophelia a chance, but after learning about her association with Claudius, he finally decides that he can trust no one. He is on his own.
Jay Gatsby is a man who irrefutably went from zero to hero. He came from a poor background, although he originally revealed to Nick he inherited his prosperity from his wealthy background. Just like in Hamlet, Gatsby’s true nature is not discovered until later on in the novel. Nick spends the entire novel trying to decipher just who exactly Jay Gatsby is, and what he tries to conclude about his upbringing and the man he becomes is an accurate understanding. “The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just...

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