The Characters Of Hamlet And Holden

1762 words - 7 pages

To some, this argument may seem the most blatant form of mistruth, horrendous, even, in its lack of taste, a kind of literary sacrilege, in fact. Surely we have reached the end, one might say, when one can considerer comparing the immortal Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, with the adolescent protagonist of Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger’s hero has been compared to many literary figures, from Huckleberry Finn to David Copperfield. So many different attitudes have been taken toward him. Let’s stop talking about him and write something else. Isn’t the subject getting boring? Perhaps so, but Holden will not go away. He continues to pester the mind, and while reading A.C. Bradley’s analysis of Hamlet’s character, it was hard to resist the idea that much of what Bradley was saying about Hamlet applied to Holden as well. Perhaps the comparison is not as absurd as it first appears. Of course, there is no similarity between the events of the play and those of the novel. The fascinating thing while reading Bradley was how perfectly his analysis of Hamlet’s character applied to Holden’s, how deeply, in fact, he was going into Holden’s character as well, revealing, among other things, its potentially tragic nature.
After demolishing the theories of other critics, Bradley concluded that the essence of Hamlet’s character is contained in a three-fold analysis of it. First, that rather than being melancholy by temperament, in the usual sense of “profoundly sad,” he is a person of unusual nervous instability, one liable to extreme and profound alterations of mood, a potential manic-depressive type. Romantic, we might say. Second, this Hamlet is also a person of “exquisite moral sensibility, “ hypersensitive to goodness, a moral idealist who, when he cannot wholly love the world chooses wholly to despise it rather than live in it with its imperfections. He is also a person who tends to see only good as real but who, when evil is forced upon him as a reality, loses his awareness of good almost altogether. Third, there is Hamlet’s particular type of intellectual genius: an unusual quickness of mind, a great agility in shifting mental attitudes, a remarkable ability to penetrate appearances once they are seen as such, a passion for generalizing about life, and a curiosity about life, ideas, and people that is so strong that one doubts the possibility of his ever satisfying it.
Bradley goes on to say that the tragedy of Hamlet is that these very characteristics, which formerly were the reasons for his superiority, because of an incident in his life- his mother’s hasty marriage to his father’s brother and what he later learns about his mother’s adultery and his father’s murder- are now the very qualities tat bring about his destruction. Bradley sees his inability to act as being the result of an intense moral disillusionment, one that produces a depression so great as to constitute utter world-weariness and a frustration as well as...

Find Another Essay On The Characters of Hamlet and Holden

Holden Caulfield and the Pressures of Society

1658 words - 7 pages characters about what happens to the ducks during the winter. However, this question is a vague way of asking if Holden is going to be all right. He fears growing up and changing his life and wants reassurance that he will be okay. His fear of the world is what causes him to try to protect his loved ones, such as his sister, Phoebe (38). In conclusion, these critics agree that Holden is a kind and considerate character. This novel supports the

The Character Of Holden Essay

844 words - 3 pages Character Sketch After reading chapters one through six we can have a brief understanding or interpretation of the character Holden from the novel The Catcher In The Rye.We know that Holden in sixteen years of age; he stands around six foot two and has grey hair. Other then that we are not given any more information of his physical appearance through the first six chapters, which is understandable considering that the story is written

The differences between Holden Caulfield and Huckleberry Finn. This essay discusses the lifestyles of the main characters from the books The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher In The Rye

743 words - 3 pages , and companionship. Both characters are experiencing life as independent people, each having their own unique qualities, but in general they are both learning that in order to survive and make the right decisions, they need to mature.Holden Caulfield and Huck Finn share many of the same characteristics. For one thing, they both tend to lie a lot. Holden lied to nearly everyone he met, one example of his deception was when he met the mother of Ernest

The Traumitized Life of Holden

2087 words - 9 pages Psychoanalysis is a method of analyzing the mind and helping emotional and mental disorders by inspecting the unconscious mind. According to Jacques Lacan, a psychiatrist, “Human behavior is often something of puzzle, requiring concerted acts of investigation to discover root causes and multiple effects” (105). Holden Caufield in the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, is a perplexed adolescent that is living in misery and agony from

The Changes of Holden Caulfield

1337 words - 5 pages thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move....Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you."(p. 121). Holden is the type of person that cannot deal with change and conflict, therefore the museum represents a simple, perfect, idealistic vision of life that Holden wishes he could live in. The Museum of Natural History is a fantasy world of Holden's where everything

Holden the oppsite of good

1455 words - 6 pages Holden the opposite of a good In the twenty first century many things have changed. Laws have become stricter, medical science has advanced and schools have changed teaching styles for the better. Holden the main character in “The Catcher in the Rye” would not have been a role model if he lived today. Although the times were different and a lot of things slipped through the cracks his actions would not have been acceptable today. There are many

The Complexity of Holden Caulfield

676 words - 3 pages J.D Salinger writes from personal experience in his novel, The Catcher in the Rye. The American author lived in New York City and attended a Manhattan public school for most of his adolescence before attending a boarding school that he soon failed out of. His experiences were a major part in not only the plot of his novel, but in building the character of Holden Caulfield. As the male protagonist in this coming of age novel, Holden Caulfield

"Hamlet", by William Shakespeare: Compare and contrast the presentation of characters and argue how effectively each character seems to further the dramatic situation of the play

1375 words - 6 pages Set in seventh century Denmark, "Hamlet", written by William Shakespeare, exposes the intricacies of the human mind through his presentation of characters. Shakespeare is able to further the dramatic situation of the play by providing foils to Hamlet in the extreme. Both Laertes and Ophelia mirror Hamlet but behave in opposite manners in reaction to Polonius' death. Meanwhile, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are torn between loyalties just as

Madness of Multiple Characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet

960 words - 4 pages Ophelia. Afterwards Polonius leaves and Hamlet and his supposed friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern about the end of the world since people were becoming honest yet they really weren’t. All this nonsense just proves that the characters are all mad or insane. Hamlet is so focused on his revenge that he doesn’t care what happens in his own life he is going to crazy, all he wants to do is create justice and have his revenge. At this point he doesn’t

Characters Influenced by Traumatic Internal Events: Hamlet, and Death of a Salesman

1197 words - 5 pages The great Aristotle once said, “All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.” Demonstrating a link between internal thoughts and external action, characters in both William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman harness Aristotle’s philosophical ideology. In both plays, a main character becomes so overwhelmed by mental or psychological events

The Roles of minor characters in Hamlet by William Shakespeare - Ophelia Character Analysis

1228 words - 5 pages OpheliaCharacter AnalysisEven as a minor character in the play Hamlet, the character Ophelia plays a vital part in the development of both the plot and thematic ideas. However, Ophelia is an extremely complicated character as she can be read in many different ways. This in effect causes the readers or audience to be more insightful and gain a greater understanding of the plot and thematic ideas in the play such as "Love and Loyalty," and

Similar Essays

Comparing The Characters Of Faustus And Hamlet

2158 words - 9 pages reaching the status of Lucifer or God. This creates indecision in both Faustus and Hamlet, whether to repent or not, should I kill the king or not, what if the ghost was a daemon in disguise, what if the devil actually intends to rip me apart if I repent and turn to the path of righteousness. This in turn provokes both characters tragic flaw procrastination leading to their tragic deaths. The only difference is Hamlet is surrounded by corruption

Hamlet Comparing The Dissimilar Characters Of Gertrude And Ophelia

2009 words - 8 pages Hamlet -- the Dissimilar Characters of Gertrude and Ophelia          In Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet it is much less challenging to illustrate the lack of resemblance between Gertrude and Ophelia than it is to indicate the similarities between the two ladies.   The biggest difference between the two is the moral difference. Who can deny that the Queen has done some very serious sinning? Who can deny that Ophelia is a shy, obedient

Holden, Charlie, And Devon: An Analysis Of The Psychological Disorders In Three Characters Includes Outline And Works Cited Page!

2154 words - 9 pages . ConclusionPAPERHolden, Charlie, and Devon:An Analysis of the Psychological Disorders in Three Characters.The characters in The Catcher in the Rye, Not as Crazy as I Seem, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower may seem completely different, but they are alike in many ways. Holden, Charlie, and Devon are three boys from three different decades, cities, and families, but there is one thing that ties them together. All three of them have psychological disorders. To

An Analysis Of The Characters In Hamlet

2517 words - 10 pages the deaths of many characters either accidentally or purposefully or forcefully. They all revolve around Hamlet’s actions and thoughts and the deaths, either directly or indirectly are a consequence of his actions. Each character in Hamlet is important and deserves a great deal of attention. The aim of this piece of work aims to give a description of the main characters in Hamlet and some of the roles and functions they