Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hamlet Essay

Hamlet is a person who uses self overhearing as a way to determine what his actions will be, Beowulf on the other hand is a person who states his actions and follows them through but doesn't necessarily think them through. The reasons behind these differences aren't just the writers' different styles but also the time period that affected them. Beowulf was a story that originally was passed down orally. Telling an epic about a hero who kills many amd receives fame and reward for it is a much more interesting story orally than explaining to people how a character thinks for half the tale. However, written it is left to the reader to interpret Hamlet's thoughts and actions and is much easier to understand.

In Hamlet we see his intricate thought process many times. The most famous of his soliloquies "To Be or Not to Be" is him, thinking he is alone and pondering whether he should live to kill his uncle and revenge his father or end it all. He says "Thus conscience does make cowards of us all." in his reflection and he realizes that because of the unknown because we think so much of what death is like, what we couldn't possibly know,that we become afraid of death and it is our over thinking that does it. This separates from Beowulf because he wouldn't even consider killing himself. He has too much pride, he wouldn't see killing Claudius as a stressful situation that must be thought over but more a challenge. Of course as an epic hero he would never back down from a challenge and thus Hamlet would have been very different had he had the same sense as Beowulf.

Beowulf is portrayed as a tough hero but not so much as a thinker. He is depicted as a hero who does heroic things not for himself but for others, even though this turns out not to be true. He always says he will do something and does just that.For example, when he says "I have heard, Too, that the monster's scorn of men Is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Nor will I." Though a brave action and an attempt to gain respect from the beast it is a foolish idea that, had he thought it through, he might have reconsidered.What is said is much more important to Beowulf because he has an audience, Hamlet generally talks to himself and thinks them through that way, Beowulf bases his actions on the reactions of the people. "And this dragon's treasure, his gold And everything hidden in that tower, will be mine Or war will sweep me to a bitter death!" Beowulf made a statement of greed, selfishness and ignorance. Had he been the reflective type instead of the speak then act type he may have realized this and saved himself from dying for an unworthy cause. His goal was not, as it had been, to save the people but rather to gain riches and so it seems his greed was his demise.

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