Understanding Existentialism Essay

912 words - 4 pages

Do we matter? Do we seek personal happiness in life? These are questions from existentialism. The dictionary defines existentialism as an individual’s experience filled with isolation in a hostile universe where a human being attempts to find true self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility. Hamlet is an existentialist character who believes that he is forced to avenge his father’s death and the hatred builds in his heart because of the many betrayals which direct him towards a senseless life and constant thoughts about suicide; this ultimately leads to his demise and he is left with naught. The narrator from “Things that Fly” has obviously gone through some sort of abandonment which has affected him negatively and he is left to live a chaotic life where he expresses the desire to be a bird who not only have mating partners and ability to fly but also can escape their troubles easily. These two characters have gone through traumatic events and thus are not capable to control the world and act freely but they miraculously manage to overcome their dilemmas and attain happiness of some sort in the end.
Hamlet and the narrator from “Things that fly” have both suffered through traumatic and catastrophic events in their life; these events have left them feeling depressed and mainly leaving them with a feeling that they are excluded from the world. Hamlet’s life turns upside-down after Hamlet’s father King Hamlet expires and following that his mother, Gertrude marries Hamlet’s uncle Claudius in short amount of time. Hamlet is not fond of Claudius and the idea of his mother not mourning long enough before her incestuous marriage deeply upsets and angers him. After trusting the ghost of King Hamlet with the fact that Claudius murdered King Hamlet to gain possession of Denmark; Hamlet is not only enraging but driven insane to some extent. Moreover, Ophelia his ex-lover is set up by her father, Polonius and King Claudius to discover Hamlet’s reason for insanity;a she meets with him and Hamlet immediately discovers that she betrays him by lying about her father’s location. All the obstacles express his disappointment in life and they make him believe that life is really senseless and there is no way out while his attempts to finish Claudius remain a failure.

Protagonist of “Things that Fly” has also gone through an calamitous event, where some significant person has abandoned him which ends up resulting in him “thinking of all the bad things [he] had done to other people in the world” and this also worries his...

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