Essay: One Who Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Comparison To Hamlet:

706 words - 3 pages

Madness, Power, Rebellion, and Conformity are some of the many themes that prevail in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Hamlet both express similar messages of sanity vs. insanity, control, and compliance through their characters.
There is a thin line between normal and abnormal as depicted in Kesey's and Shakespeare's work. One must ponder the question; is McMurphy mentally ill or is he just a schemer rebelling? The doctor commented, "...Don't overlook the possibility that this man might be feigning psychosis to escape the drudgery of the work farm...And what about that McMurphy?" (Kesey 46). The doctor in the mental hospital is telling McMurphy that many other patients and ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, the king sent a message to another king to end the life of the young prince. Furthermore, another control hungry character was the Nurse Ratched from Kesey's novel. She emasculates the male patients and manipulates their fears in order to keep the power in her hands. Harding informs McMurphy that, "All of us in here are rabbits...We need a good strong wolf like the nurse to keep us in our place" (Kesey 61). Big Nurse is strong and they are weak, nothing happens unless she wants it to be. Nurse Ratched and King Claudius have limited power. They use lies and deceit at their discretion by killing, giving brain shocks, and lobotomies.
Even in a kingdom or a mental institution, there is room for rebellion, not conforming to the norm. Conformity is behavior that complies to accepted standards, Hamlet and McMurphy embody this defiant nature. Nurse Ratched had her hospital running smoothly with herself in command. All the laws and orders were met until the day McMurphy came along. He walked around with a towel and tried to get...

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