Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 3 | Words: 802
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Two characters from the classic stories appear to be very different from the first glance; however, there are similarities that eventually lead to tragedies of both men.

Hamlet’s Philosophical Questions

Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, is receiving his education at the University of Wittenberg when he learns about his father’s death and following marriage of his mother and his uncle. He is deeply grieved by it and, upon seeing the ghost, who seems to be his father pleading for revenge, becomes further disturbed and even mentally unstable. That proves his sensitive and contemplative nature. Upon hearing from the ghost accusations about his uncle, Hamlet decides first to look for evidences of ghost’s words. However, he is also impulsive at times and acts without giving it a second thought. When he talks with Gertrude and hears stirring behind the curtain, he assumes it is Claudius who hides there, and proceeds to murder the person before even making sure who it is.

Hamlet is deeply troubled by the state of the world around him; however, the only solution he finds is in wailing that the suicide is a mortal sin and, therefore, is not an option to consider. He asks many philosophical questions about the nature of the world, the life and death, responsibility and life after death and many others.

He appears to be unwilling to take responsibility, such as in his relationships with Ofelia, who he claims to love, however, later commands to go to nunnery. Hamlet is a very complex character, even some of his friends do not understand him completely. He is being indecisive and only makes up his mind after the conversation with the captain from Prince Fortinbras’ army about the battle they are about to have over a small plot of land. Seeing armies being so determined to fight even for something he does not consider significant, he makes up his mind to finally proceed with the revenge. It seems that the death that started accompanying him makes him numb to it. He is not remorseful over killing Polonius, and Ofelia’s death is of little concern to him as well. He set his mind to think bloody thoughts and accepts the fencing engagement with Laertes.

Hamlet unwillingly caused the death of several people and in the end of the story died as well. His indecisiveness was ultimately the reason of his death.

Victor Frankenstein’s Responsibility for the Death

Victor Frankenstein, from the novel by Mary Shelley, is also ultimately responsible for the death of several people, although he does not want to take responsibility for it. Not being willing to take responsibility for his own actions and for those he created ultimately leads to suffering of many people.

Just like Hamlet, Victor’s family is wealthy and he studies at the University of Ingolstadt. Just like Hamlet, he is obsessed with curiosity about life, although Hamlet is asking philosophical questions, while Victor wants to discover secrets of physical function of the body and possibility of reconstruction. His extensive studies, at which he literally took many bodies apart, led him to making a creature, which was supposed to be beautiful, but turned out to be hideous. Victor is so confused and disappointed with the outcome that he simply abandons the monster which becomes confused and afraid.

The whole experience was so emotionally taxing for Victor that he had a mental breakdown, just like it happened with Hamlet. While Victor is being nursed back to health, the monster is trying to adjust to life with the people, but is being met with the violence time and again, because of his appearance. His first act of killing appeared accidentally, however, the string of murders followed.

When Victor learned about his little brother’s death, he realized that it was the monster which was responsible for it, however, he did not confess to anyone about his creation, thus, the death of the innocent girl followed. Victor failed to take responsibility again, and the consequences became grievous.

When monster demanded Victor to create a woman for him, Victor reluctantly agreed, but did not carry out his promise, realizing what consequences it might have for the mankind. However, he was fixing one thing to the damage of the other. The monster was so enraged that he killed Victor’s friend and his new wife. The core reason behind all the bloodshed is monster’s loneliness and seeking companionship, which Victor failed to provide or even think about while  experimenting, and later irresponsibility towards his creation. Modern Prometheus did not create a perfect being, because the creator himself was not god.  Ultimately, hatred always conceives more hatred, and Victor died lonely and forsaken, while attempting to destroy his creation.

Thus, two protagonists from different times and settings have some similarities. Both of them, being human, have their flaws and weaknesses, which ultimately led to their destruction and death of the others.

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