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Theme Of Guilt In Hamlet And Fifth Business

1521 words - 7 pages

A society contains people with various personalities. No two people are the same, but they can have similarities if their personality types classify them. Categorizing them can actually show the real faces of people, their actual emotions and if they fit in with their specific group itself. Emotion itself plays an imperative role in the development of a person’s character. These emotions can affect each person very differently; they are the root causes for why people behave a certain way. They mask their identities, hide their realities, contain themselves in ambiguous world, and only think about their personal selves. In the texts, Fifth Business by Robertson Davies and Hamlet by William ...view middle of the document...

He takes the blame upon himself, “I knew that snowball had been meant for me” (Davies, 5) and therefore he feels “contrite and guilty” (Davies, 5). His culture has taught him to consider every right and wrong steps. He continuously regrets about the snowball that hit Mrs. Dempster’s head, which ultimately causes her to lose her sanity. It is this guilt that haunts Dunny for several years of his life. Even after many years, due to the guilt that carries him away, he “desperately wanted to see Mrs. Dempster, but it was impossible, for in my uniform I was unable to anywhere without being noticed, and I would have died rather than admit it”(Davies, 61). He feels embarrassed to face anyone back in his hometown, Deptford, and suggests to the readers, that he would rather die than face the people in his hometown, especially his mother and the mother-like figure, Mary Dempster. Dunny’s personality is made apparent in many situations, and when it comes to Mary, he cannot leave her to her demise, therefore he has visited her “every fortnight” (Davies, 150). Soon, even Mrs. Dempster “was always waiting for me on Saturday Afternoon with her hat on. She hoped that this time I would take her away” (Davies, 170-71). These constant visits to the asylum, further puts him down, as he unable to look after Mrs. Dempster with care and this is the guilt that he feels throughout his life for escaping from the snowball hit, which was intended for him. In contrast, Claudius is a character in Hamlet who has committed crime, but would rather not admit it. Although, readers perceive guilt, Claudius is one character that waives the topic as soon as someone brings it up. He does not show his guilt when others are around, but due to his inner conscience, he was able to see the actuality; he does not want to go to hell. Hence, he offers his prayers to god, to beg for forgiveness.
A brother’s murder. Pray can I not. Though inclination be as sharp as will,
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent, And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin, And both neglect. What if this curse’d hand
Were thicker than itself with brother’s blood? To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy But to confront the visage of offence? And what’s in prayer but this twofold force, To be forestalle’d ere we come to fall Or pardoned being down? Then I’ll look up. My fault is past. But oh, what form of prayer Can serve my turn, “Forgive me my foul murder”? (3.3.38-53)
This quote explains that although he is guilty, he only begs pardon due to his selfishness and only acts as a good person in front of other courtiers and his so-called wife, Gertrude. Claudius uses projection techniques to lay his own guilt on others, where he manipulates Laertes by telling him that the murderer of his father is Hamlet. Due to his misdeeds, he ends up falling in the same hole he has dug for his enemy. As Hamlet comes to know about the actual murderer, upon Laertes last few...

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